Analytics and Optimization is a broad field of research that optimizes decision-making through the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive models, and fact-based management.
Organizations harness a wealth of valuable information that, if used effectively, can provide great insight needed to make timely, informed business decisions. Making successful use of these strategic data assets to drive business results is, therefore, a critical focus for organizations. Now, more than ever, data access and reporting methods play a key role in driving the decision support process, and enabling the availability and analysis of valuable corporate information through analytics to gain a competitive advantage. To achieve this, data has to be collected, cleaned, and analyzed so that explanatory models can be developed that lead to predictive models for optimizing business processes.
The Analytics and Optimization group has expertise in many business fields. For example, revenue management in the travel industry (airlines, hotel reservations, and car rentals) and in the retail industry (optimal markdowns and advertisement optimization) is an important research topic in which dynamic learning and pricing are closely intertwined. We are involved in finding new ways for demand unconstraining and optimal pricing. The Health Care industry also has data which can be used for better planning and design of health care processes. The group is developing health analytics models and techniques to optimize processes in health care that range from logistics, ambulance planning to patient care. A third field of expertise is logistics. This sector is currently faced with big data streams from many data sources across different supply chains. We develop models and techniques to access, integrate, and analyze this information so that they can increase operational efficiency, better compete and capture customers, and optimize their sales channels to compete more effectively. Typical research topics relate to inventory management, optimal assortment planning, and optimal product pricing.
Finally, the networked world offers many interesting problems in the realm of telecommunications, the Internet, social media, and call centers. In these problems, usually service level agreements are negotiated that need to be met by optimal design of the system and through operational efficiency. We have a lot of experience in modeling and solving such systems, and also participate in the Network Institute.