All posts by Todd Rollin

Analytics & Optimization Digital Transformation: Unleash Your Firm’s Hidden Knowledge

Digital assets

In my last post on digital transformation, I talked about how it’s tempting to track your competition in the race to disrupt and transform your industry, but that every business’s DNA mandates an approach specific to your challenges and objectives. When you start to uncover new insights that are transformational, it’s critical to consider one often overlooked fact: You have a lot of hidden data living in your organization that you ultimately need to tap to digitize your business. Where does the data reside? In the brains of your business experts, data scientists — even front and back office staff. And of course, on their PCs, tablets, and even sticky notes and business cards. It’s not just knowledge of their jobs, but the specifics about how they get things done; how they deal with people both in and outside of the company (including customers, partners, vendors and suppliers); and even... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Digital Transformation: Visualize Your Journey, Not Your Rival’s

Digital assets

This is the second post in this series – read post one here. Marcel Proust wasn’t ruminating about digital transformation when he said, “We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” But this statement could well align with what businesses face in their DX evolution. Putting a new vision to work — and ultimately altering the fabric of your business — is a process that will be different for every organization. That means you really can’t just copy what your competitors are doing and try to do it better — because by the time you’ve emulated them, they’ve moved onto the next digital iteration of their business. Instead, you need to model your journey based on your own DNA — factoring in people (the entire ecosystem, including your people, customers, partners, etc.), your products and... [Read More]

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Customer Engagement Three Keys to Advancing your Digital Transformation

Digital assets

With today’s proliferation of data, digital transformation (DX) has become more than a hot topic: It’s an imperative for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The collision of data, analytics and technology has businesses, analysts and consumers excited — and scared — about what could happen next. On one hand, everyone from banks to bagel shops and travel sites to tractor manufacturers have found new ways to connect the dots in their businesses while forging stronger, more dynamic customer engagement. Artificial intelligence (AI) has come of age in technologies such as smart sensors, robotic arms, and devices that can turn lights and heat on and off, adjust for changes in conditions and preferences, and even automatically reorder food and supplies for us. However, today’s Chief Analytics Officer (and Chief Data Officer and Chief Digital Officer, for example) faces both the promise and precariousness of digitizing business. While significant opportunities abound... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Analytics Unleash the Power of Alternative Energy

WindFarm Designs image and quote

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” – Gaylord Nelson, former US Senator and founder of Earth Day When we ponder climate change and alternative energy, the visceral reaction for many of us is not just thinking about our future on this planet, but also our children’s, and that of their children. Even proponents of “staying the course” by focusing largely (or even solely) on traditional energy sources would have to acknowledge that our global economy would collapse as our systems degrade over time – as Gaylord Nelson reminds us in his brief but compelling message. Alas, the challenges of tapping into alternative energy’s potential are still very... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Clean Energy Firm Solves an “Impossible” Problem with FICO Tech

Windfarm Designs logo

Harnessing the potential of wind energy is a challenging problem, from capture through conversion into electrical power. A key facet of wind farm design is how the turbines are placed. A “typical” wind farm project may encompass 200×300 grid points on the wind map to cover 20 turbines; if you consider the number of ways to position these turbines, the placement problem becomes incredibly cumbersome. But it’s not just maximizing energy yield that vexes the human brain. For years, the industry studied the problem of how to factor load constraints into the power optimization mix. Turbine loads (described through IEC standards or load models) have been considered too difficult to include in the optimization problem. Instead, consultants and manufacturers manually review and adjust layouts, which not only takes time – it also generates less than ideal results. Markedslabben AS, a Norwegian wind farm design tool and optimization start-up, cracked the... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Innovative Application Process Leads to Happy Yarra Employees


With more than 1.7 million customers and 50,000 businesses, Yarra Valley Water is Melbourne’s largest water and sewerage utility. From day one, it has sought to provide timely and excellent customer service, culminating in, among other enhancements, the development of its easyACCESS system to automate its development application process. The project has seen the company win a FICO® Decision Management Award for Decision Management Innovation, and we’re thrilled to have Yarra Valley Water telling its story at next week’s FICO World, to be held in Washington DC on April 26-29. As I worked with Stuart Squires (system manager for Yarra Valley Water), Rhonwyn Colley (director for Wise Technology Management, who were key to the implementation and deployment of easyAccess) and FICO’s Jeremy Chen on the presentation, I was struck by not only how the FICO® Decision Management Suite technology was the core analytic and technology driver behind the success of... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization 3 Reasons to Visit INFORMS 2016, April 10-12, in Orlando


The INFORMS conferences continue to unveil game-changing approaches that businesses are using advanced analytics such as optimization to literally transform lives and businesses. For those of you who aren’t familiar, The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research (O.R.), management science, and analytics. They hold multiple annual conferences targeting diverse audiences, with the Business Analytics and Operations Research conference – held this year at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida, from April 10-12 – focusing on the wide-ranging use cases that demonstrate the breadth of depth of analytic innovation. This year, FICO is thrilled to be an INFORMS Platinum Sponsor, which reflects our organization’s focus on optimization and prescriptive analytics as critical components of an integrated decision management strategy. If you’re already planning to come to INFORMS, here are three good... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization When Will Analytic Business Adoption Reach an Inflection Point?


I have a confession to make. And nothing that would make most of you shudder (except for my beloved marketing colleagues). When I tell people I work for FICO, I usually get a response like “can you fix my credit score?” And by the time I break into my economical 30-second elevator pitch fit for cocktail parties, describing that we do more than scores, they’re already mingling with someone else. But recently, I had a conversation that evolved beyond the 580s and 820s of the credit scoring world. At a party, I chatted with someone who actually stuck around for my “what I do” story and confessed to knowing that FICO is in the analytics business. We talked about the difference between predictive and prescriptive analytics, the cumulative effect of business actions (such as marketing offers) on consumers, and even into the business value of an occasional fraud false positive.... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Three Reasons Optimization is Set Up for Big Growth in 2016


In numerous recent blogs, we’ve highlighted how optimization helps businesses – from Southwest Airlines to Sprint – determine the action or actions they should take to achieve the right mix of risk mitigation, profitability and positive customer outcomes – all within the timeframes that drive the greatest value. Southwest told us how this analytic capability helps them optimize everything from gate assignment to provisioning beer and peanuts, while Sprint is using optimization to intelligently onboard new wireless customers, ensuring they’re happy with their handset and plan choices without taking on additional unnecessary risk. It has become clear, however, that many businesses, from banks to utilities, are still trying to figure out how to start their first meaningful optimization project – and IT is a critical barrier that often stops efforts before they get past the planning stage. One can hardly blame them – in fact, IT needs to juggle legacy... [Read More]

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