Industry Spotlight: Consulting

When a new technology arrives, consulting companies can quickly add staff and expertise to build institutional capacity centered around the technology in ways companies focused on delivering their own products and services cannot. Large consulting companies like Booz Allen and McKinsey, as well as smaller…

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Good to Great

In 1994, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, former and current Stanford professors, published the best-seller Built to Last that described how "long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise."  It sold over a million copies. Buoyed by that success, Collins and a…

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Instructor Spotlight: Cliff Ragsdale

Cliff T. Ragsdale teaches several courses for the Institute in the area of operations research, based on his best selling text "Spreadsheet Modeling and Decision Analysis." One of Cliff's special talents is making his subject, which can be quite challenging technically, widely accessible. His courses…

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Selection Bias

Selection bias is a sampling or data collection process that yields a biased, or unrepresentative, sample.  It can occur in numerous situations, here are just a few:

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Space Shuttle Explosion

In 1986, the U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded several minutes after launch. A later investigation found that the cause of the disaster was O-ring failure, due to cold temperatures. The temperature at launch was 39 degrees, colder than any prior launch. The cold caused the…

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Alaskan Generosity

People in Alaska are extraordinarily generous - that's what a predictive model showed, when applied to a charitable organization's donor list. A closer examination revealed a flaw - while the original data was for all 50 states, the model's training data for Alaska included donors,…

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Why Analytics Projects Fail – 5 Reasons

With the news full of so many successes in the fields of analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, it is easy to lose sight of the high failure rate of analytics projects. McKinsey just came out with a report that only 8% of big companies…

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