Why Simulation is a Must for Optimization-based Scenario Planning

In the age of Big Data, corporate leaders have more power at their disposal than ever before. Meanwhile, globalization has increased the number and quality of competitors fighting for the same customers. There is enormous pressure on planners to achieve economical, efficient strategies that increase return on investment with as little risk as possible. In the past, intuition was a planners’ tool of choice, but most today are tech savvy enough to have moved onto better techniques. With the sheer number of variables to consider, there are not enough hours in the day to cope with the resultant information overload.

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Business Analytics: Real-World Applications Get Prescriptive

Have you wondered why all the buzz about prescriptive analytics?

Think about this for a moment. Smart people have probably told you that your company needs to be using such capabilities. In fact, Gartner Research predicts up to 40% of companies will be using prescriptive analytics by 2021.

To understand the challenge of making the move to prescriptive analytics, we look at real-world applications and, more importantly, how such capabilities can make your company more efficient and more profitable.

Check this out: Prescriptive analytics uses algorithms to create a flexible performance model of your business that can provide managers insights into the best decision to make in a given situation. It has the benefit of fully respecting the constraints and objectives of the business while also reporting the financial impact. That’s right. The dashboard chart below shows the types of business analytics and their role in planning and decision-making processes.

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The Role of Private Brands and the Retail Planning Process

The US retail industry is in turmoil. Manufacturers are facing increasing commodities prices, ever resilient competition, uncertainties in financial markets and customer behavior. The retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online, are viciously fighting for customers’ dollars and cents. Customers are worried about the economic downturn and try to sniff out deals and save, and they have many options to do so.

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"The Optimization Edge": A Book on Optimization for Business Leaders

We recently partnered with  Princeton Consultants, an information technology and management consulting firm that solves complex problems using optimization. Steve Sashihara, CEO of Princeton, wrote a book on optimization that's gotten a lot of attention over the last several years. Since we're in the optimization space and are passionate about educating business leaders on this topic, we thought we'd share some information about Steve's book.
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Applying Price and Revenue Optimization for Demand Shaping

In our first post on optimizing supply and demand through demand shaping, we expanded upon the traditional definition of demand shaping to mean a process where the optimal demand and supply decisions are made by using all available supply and demand information.

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Spinnaker Partners with River Logic to Deliver Optimization-enabled Business Planning Solutions

DALLAS, July 7, 2017 -- River Logic today announced its new partnership with Spinnaker, a supply chain services company that helps clients grow, manage risk, reduce costs and improve customer service by developing world-class supply chain capabilities.

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Optimization: What is Old is New Again

Optimization and Operations Research have been around for the past 60-70 years, with their origin in World War II. However, in the past optimization has always been in the realm of specialist knowledge with a niche focus. It is only in the past few years that it has taken up a new avatar in the form of Prescriptive Analytics and started being taken seriously as a business user tool. The following Figure 1 illustrates the evolution of different types of analytics and the realization that Prescriptive Analytics is the highest echelon in this hierarchy.

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Focus on Optimization Business Cases to Make Smart Cities a Reality!

The first question that came to my mind is, “what exactly is a smart city?”. When I did research on smart cities, I came to the conclusion that there is no universally accepted definition of it either. It means different things to different people and is often used in political contexts with confusing agendas. Our goal for this blog is not to analyze the evolution of smart cities. Instead, our goal is to create a simple definition of a smart city and define clear goals for them. Then we can look at how we can enable the goal of these smart cities using both existing as well as future technologies.

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Did Gartner Get Prescriptive Analytics Wrong?

The short answer is yes: Gartner has gotten prescriptive analytics wrong, or at least 50% wrong. However, why do we even care about prescriptive analytics? Let’s start by having a look at the increasing amount of attention the term has gotten over the last 18 months. 

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The Future of Analytics in Integrated Business Planning

According to Wikipedia, prescriptive analysis is — after descriptive and predictive analysis — the third and final stage of business analytics. Gartner plots prescriptive analysis as the final and most difficult stage of data analytics.

This article will draw an analogy with the mapping and car industry to suggest that prescriptive analysis as an opportunity to support Integrated Business Planning (IBP) and business optimization, is not a final stage, but just at the beginning of a new planning era.

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