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.
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.
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.
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.
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.