“operational research – at the heart of analytics”. This phrase is the banner headline on the home page of the website of the British OR Society. (http://www.theorsociety.com/) The January 12, 2015 blog post of The OR Society begins with the following statement:
‘Part of the OR Society’s mission statement is that the Society “effectively promotes the use of OR”; and this is something we do extensively through our publications, our events, our training, our OR in schools initiative, our web sites and elsewhere.’ (http://www.theorsociety.com/Blog/features/20150112093937.aspx)
Clearly, The OR Society believes that they can use the interest in analytics to promote operations research. If we, in the United States, want to do the same thing, we should keep two basic marketing principles in mind:
1) If you want to market a product, you must tell your prospective customers, THE NAME OF YOUR PRODUCT. In our case, the name of our product is operations research. If we use an amorphous name such as analytics, or the name of a different discipline such as data science, our customers will be confused, and they won’t know what to buy.
2) It is usually helpful, if you explain to your prospective customers, THE BENEFITS OF YOUR PRODUCT. In our case, we could explain to people with an interest in ‘big data’, that operations research can be used to turn insights from a ‘big data’ analysis into an optimal marketing plan.
It is possible, that by positioning operations research ‘at the heart of analytics’, we can promote operations research more effectively. Perhaps, we could even persuade the British OR Society to let us borrow their slogan.