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Making a Real Difference:
Operational Research
Charlene Timewell, ORS Education Officer
Ian Seath, Director, Improvement S...
 Why is O.R. the “Science of Better” and where can it take you?
 “It’s a Dog’s Life”: A Case Study in Operational Resear...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 3
What is Operational Research?
Operational Research...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 4
When is O.R. useful?
 When a decision is complex ...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 5
How is O.R. useful?
Modelling
RiskAnalysis
GameThe...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 6
Why is O.R. the Science of Better?
Supermarkets
 ...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 7
O.R. is the Science of Better
Transport Planning
...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 8
Where can O.R. take you?
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 9
Where can O.R. take you?
Figures correct as of Oct...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 10
Where can O.R. take you?
Activity six months afte...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 11
Where can O.R. take you?
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 12
Where to Look for Experience & Jobs
Annual Career...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 13
Where to Look for Experience & Jobs
Placements, I...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 14
Where to Look for Experience & Jobs
Company Websi...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 15
The OR Society
The OR Society
 The professional ...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 16
The OR Society
Free Student Membership
 Access t...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 17
ORiS: Making a Difference
O.R. in Schools
“every ...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 18
ORiS: Making a Difference
Introducing
Algorithms ...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 19
ORiS: Making a Difference
Teaching Linear
Program...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 20
Practical Exercise
∞ 1st person in the line, look...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 21
Real-life applications of maths
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 22
Real-life applications of maths
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 23
Real-life applications of maths
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 24
Real-life applications of maths
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 25
ORiS: Student Volunteers
Volunteer Benefits
 All...
www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 26
Further Information
 Find out more…
www.LearnAbo...
“It’s a dog’s life”
A Case Study in Operational
Research
The OR Society: www.theorsociety.com
Pro Bono O.R.: www.theorsoci...
Can we answer the following questions?
• How many dogs there are “in the
system” in the UK and how do they
move between di...
Key project stages
• Review the available data
• Design and build a model
• Develop recommendations for
possible uses and ...
What data would you want to
collect and where would you find
it?
Workshop exercise 1
Literature Review
• Literature Review of
relevant papers and
reports
• ~50 different sources
• ~100 data points and
times ...
Can we model the UK dog
population?
Workshop exercise 2
Stock
Inflows
Outflows
A Stocks and Flows Model of UK dogs
• A Stocks and Flows Model helps us to
understand the “system” in which
dogs exist; wh...
A Stocks and Flows Model of UK dogs
• Here is a model answer that defines
four main stocks of dogs
• Task 2b: what do you ...
A Stocks and Flows Model of UK dogs
Companion
dogs (99.8%)
Working dogs
In Rescue
Strays
• Births
• Imports
• Deaths
• Exp...
What factors and interventions
affect the flows?
Workshop exercise 3
Factors affecting the flows
Canine
birth &
death
rates
Political
Economic
Social
Technology
Legal
Environment
• If you wer...
The Model
Stray dogs
Dogs in welfare
Owned dogs
Owned births
Owned
deaths
Stray births
Stray deaths
Welfare
births
Welfare...
How the RSPCA has been able to use the
results
• Helping to scope the direction of their
campaign to tackle the illegal tr...
Pro Bono O.R.
(Operational Research)
for the Third Sector
Webpage: www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx
Blog: h...
Pro Bono O.R.
• What is Pro Bono O.R. and how did it come about?
• What are its aims?
o To help Third Sector organisations...
How it works: organisations
• Expression of interest
• Registration form
• Scoping conversation
• Project scope sent to vo...
• The role of a volunteer:
• Who are the volunteers
• Work with organisation to specify project;
• Undertake project, eith...
Projects
Volunteers
• 67 projects advertised
• 45 projects completed
• 22 active projects
• Over 400 volunteers
• 173 volu...
Some example case studies
RSPCA
• Modelling the UK dog population
Elfrida Rathbone Camden
• Designing an outcomes framewor...
Who we have worked with
How to get involved
• Sign up online
http://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Pr
obono.aspx
• Come and chat to me now
• D...
Webpage:
www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx
Blog:
http://probonoOR.blogspot.co.uk/
Connect with me via:
@FMcL...
Making a difference with Operational Research
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Making a difference with Operational Research

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An interactive workshop run by Felicity McLeister, Charlene Timewell and Ian Seath, from the professional organisation and registered charity, The Operational Research Society.

Operational Research (O.R.) uses scientific methods to improve an organisation’s effectiveness. It can address a wide range of organisational improvements – for example strategy, systems, processes, operations, decision-making etc. By using a mix of ‘soft’ techniques to understand the social and organisational context, and mathematical modelling to analyse complex situations, O.R. can help to make more effective decisions and build more productive systems based on: more complete data, consideration of all available options, careful predictions of outcomes and estimates of risk and the latest decision tools and techniques.

The workshop will includes:
· An introduction to O.R. and The OR Society.
· Career pathways into O.R. and how to gain experience, including getting involved with the O.R. in Schools initiative.
· An introduction to the Pro Bono O.R. scheme including some example case studies.
· A practical session based on a project Pro Bono O.R. carried out with RSPCA.
This event was hosted by Birkbeck Careers & Employability

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Making a difference with Operational Research

  1. 1. Making a Real Difference: Operational Research Charlene Timewell, ORS Education Officer Ian Seath, Director, Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. Felicity McLeister, ORS Pro Bono Project Manager
  2. 2.  Why is O.R. the “Science of Better” and where can it take you?  “It’s a Dog’s Life”: A Case Study in Operational Research  Pro Bono O.R. for the Third Sector Session Overview
  3. 3. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 3 What is Operational Research? Operational Research Operational Research (O.R.) is the discipline of combining a way of thinking and communicating with appropriate, often advanced, analytical methods to help make better decisions in businesses and other enterprises.
  4. 4. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 4 When is O.R. useful?  When a decision is complex or it’s not clear what the main problem is  When it’s uncertain what the outcome of different actions will be  When you don’t know how well things are working or think they could work better  When you are worried about risks  When you need to take account of the views of different stakeholder groups
  5. 5. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 5 How is O.R. useful? Modelling RiskAnalysis GameTheory Data MiningLinear Programming Scheduling Simulation Bin Packing Hyper-Heuristics Critical Path Analysis EvolutionaryComputation Markov Decision Processes Optimisation Meta-Heuristics Systems Dynamics Queuing Theory Statistics & Probability Validation Assessment
  6. 6. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 6 Why is O.R. the Science of Better? Supermarkets  Understanding people’s buying patterns  Determining the number of staff needed on checkouts and when  Calculating order quantities and delivery times  CASE STUDY: Waitrose  Improve automated demand forecasting system  Statistics and simulation  Significant overall cost reduction of 2%
  7. 7. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 7 O.R. is the Science of Better Transport Planning  Calculating cost effective, environmentally conscious routes  Planning loads and scheduling deliveries to consolidate orders  Optimising staffing requirements and fleet size  CASE STUDY: Blackheath Products  Reliable vehicle routing solution prior to major business expansion  Optimisation  Fuel and mileage savings of 20%, reduced planning time by 75%
  8. 8. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 8 Where can O.R. take you?
  9. 9. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 9 Where can O.R. take you? Figures correct as of October 2015, source: www.completeuniversityguide.co.uk Numerate Careers: Average starting salaries for graduates
  10. 10. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 10 Where can O.R. take you? Activity six months after graduation from first degrees by subject, 2012/13
  11. 11. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 11 Where can O.R. take you?
  12. 12. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 12 Where to Look for Experience & Jobs Annual Careers Open Day: 23rd November 2016
  13. 13. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 13 Where to Look for Experience & Jobs Placements, Internships, & Graduate Schemes  www.glassdoor.co.uk, e.g.  www.gradcracker.com, e.g.
  14. 14. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 14 Where to Look for Experience & Jobs Company Website, e.g. Volunteering Opportunities, e.g.  Direct with employers or charities  O.R. in Schools (ORiS) http://bit.ly/1teCxXPhttp://ibm.co/1kq3pWAhttp://bit.ly/1FP84vK
  15. 15. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 15 The OR Society The OR Society  The professional membership body of the Operational Research (O.R.) community.  The longest-established and second largest O.R. association worldwide with almost 3000 members across 53 countries.  A registered charity and a company limited by guarantee, governed by its Board of Trustees and Committees.
  16. 16. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 16 The OR Society Free Student Membership  Access to all ORS journals and magazines  Build your background knowledge and your CV by attending events and volunteering with ORS outreach  Apply for CandORS accreditation  Network with other students and O.R. professionals (Public Lectures, Conferences,SiGs, & Regional Societies)  Discounted rates for conferences and training courses
  17. 17. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 17 ORiS: Making a Difference O.R. in Schools “every student should know what O.R. is” For Professionals  An opportunity to share O.R skills with the next generation  Free support, training, and resources from The OR Society For Teachers  Free O.R resources and support for the classroom For Students Secondary onwards  To learn what O.R. is and how maths is used in everyday life During University  To gain experience and skills for CV while promoting maths/O.R. to younger students  To explore career opportunities in O.R.
  18. 18. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 18 ORiS: Making a Difference Introducing Algorithms using Board Games
  19. 19. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 19 ORiS: Making a Difference Teaching Linear Programming using Lego
  20. 20. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 20 Practical Exercise ∞ 1st person in the line, look at the person on your left. ∞ If you are taller, swap. ∞ 2nd person in the line, look at the person on your left. ∞ If you are taller, swap. ∞ 3rd person in the line, look at the person on your left. ∞ If you are taller, swap. ∞ And so on…until you reach the end of the line. ∞ The last person in the line should now be the tallest and can turn around. ∞ Start again. The end of the line is the person next to someone who has turned around.
  21. 21. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 21 Real-life applications of maths
  22. 22. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 22 Real-life applications of maths
  23. 23. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 23 Real-life applications of maths
  24. 24. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 24 Real-life applications of maths
  25. 25. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 25 ORiS: Student Volunteers Volunteer Benefits  All resources/materials are provided  Travel & accommodation expenses reimbursed  Free training courses and workshops  Networking opportunities with other students and O.R. professionals  Experience for your CV
  26. 26. www.TheORSociety.com www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk 26 Further Information  Find out more… www.LearnAboutOR.co.uk www.ScienceofBetter.co.uk www.TheORSociety.com  Get in touch… +44 (0)121 233 9300 Charlene.Timewell@theorsociety.com @ORinSchools
  27. 27. “It’s a dog’s life” A Case Study in Operational Research The OR Society: www.theorsociety.com Pro Bono O.R.: www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Phone: 0121 233 9300
  28. 28. Can we answer the following questions? • How many dogs there are “in the system” in the UK and how do they move between different parts of the system? • How many dogs are relinquished and why? Which type of dog? • Can we forecast the likely impact of different interventions ? The RSPCA is the UK’s leading animal welfare charity.
  29. 29. Key project stages • Review the available data • Design and build a model • Develop recommendations for possible uses and future development of the model
  30. 30. What data would you want to collect and where would you find it? Workshop exercise 1
  31. 31. Literature Review • Literature Review of relevant papers and reports • ~50 different sources • ~100 data points and times series • Assessment of data quality
  32. 32. Can we model the UK dog population? Workshop exercise 2 Stock Inflows Outflows
  33. 33. A Stocks and Flows Model of UK dogs • A Stocks and Flows Model helps us to understand the “system” in which dogs exist; where they are and how they move between different parts of the system • Task 2a: decide what are the four “stocks” of dogs that you would want to include in a model, based on the overall population data from the literature review Stock 1 Stock 4 Stock 2 Stock 3
  34. 34. A Stocks and Flows Model of UK dogs • Here is a model answer that defines four main stocks of dogs • Task 2b: what do you think are the inflows and outflows that lead to increases and reductions in each of the stocks? • N.B. there may be more than one inflow and/or outflow for each stock Companion dogs Working dogs In Rescue Strays
  35. 35. A Stocks and Flows Model of UK dogs Companion dogs (99.8%) Working dogs In Rescue Strays • Births • Imports • Deaths • Exports • Births • Imports • Deaths • Deaths• Deaths • Births • Births • Imports
  36. 36. What factors and interventions affect the flows? Workshop exercise 3
  37. 37. Factors affecting the flows Canine birth & death rates Political Economic Social Technology Legal Environment • If you were the RSPCA, what interventions would you want to make to improve the system?
  38. 38. The Model Stray dogs Dogs in welfare Owned dogs Owned births Owned deaths Stray births Stray deaths Welfare births Welfare deaths Owned dogs to welfare Welfare dogs to owned Owned dogs to stray Stray dogs to owned Stray dogs to welfare Imported owned dogs Dogs imported to welfare Owned dog exports Number of dogs microchipped Owner education level re dogs Welfare life expectancy Owned dog life expectancy Stray dog life expectancy Space available in welfare Euthanasia policy Emmigration Number of dog breeders Number of puppy farms Funding for welfare Welfare capacity Demand for dogs in UK Number of owned dogs having puppies Demand for dogs - non-UK Disposable income Insurance rates Number of dogs lost Number of dogs abandoned Number of dogs neutered 9.4m (23) 2009 LB: 12,340 2010 LB:10,630 est 1,250 (300 to 2130) 111,000 per year (13) Strays back to owner - 53,280 per year (13) Rehomed - 9,990 per year (13) Put to sleep/die 8,880 per year (13) Working dogs 27,750 per year (13) Entering welfare: 129,743 per year (1) 0.5% of welfare in flows (27, scaled) 11.4% of outflow died (27) LB 7142 euthanised (1) Assume 0 Welfare dogs reunited with owner - 12.5% of those entering = 16,218 (1). 7.7% of those entering (27) Rehomed - 80.9% of outflows (27) 69.5% of welfare inflows (27, scaled) 30% of welfare inflows (27, scaled) - this includes LA and public straying dogs 11.4% of dogs per year? (36) 25% of dogs per year? (est from 24, 41) 12 years (34) 4% of microchipped are from Ireland, 3% from other EU, 2% from outside EU - needs scaling up by 2% (24) 50,000 dogs imported from Ireland per year (31) Working dogs to owned greyhounds - 3,910 per year (33) Working dog births Working dog deaths Working dog life expectancy Requirements for working dogs Working dogs to welfareAt least 2500 police dogs (45)
  39. 39. How the RSPCA has been able to use the results • Helping to scope the direction of their campaign to tackle the illegal trade in puppies • Using the data to inform their response to DEFRA’s consultation on overhauling existing pet vending legislation
  40. 40. Pro Bono O.R. (Operational Research) for the Third Sector Webpage: www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx Blog: http://probonoOR.blogspot.co.uk/ For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Phone: 0121 233 9300
  41. 41. Pro Bono O.R. • What is Pro Bono O.R. and how did it come about? • What are its aims? o To help Third Sector organisations to do a better job o To promote O.R. in the Third Sector o To promote effective use of O.R.
  42. 42. How it works: organisations • Expression of interest • Registration form • Scoping conversation • Project scope sent to volunteers • Organisation selects volunteer • Pre project survey • Project proposal drawn up • Project commences • Feedback sought • Post project survey
  43. 43. • The role of a volunteer: • Who are the volunteers • Work with organisation to specify project; • Undertake project, either individually or in teams; • Write up and/or present their work wherever appropriate; • Mentor junior volunteers. • O.R./analytical professionals • Retired • Consultants • Government employees • Employed professionals • Academics How it works: volunteers
  44. 44. Projects Volunteers • 67 projects advertised • 45 projects completed • 22 active projects • Over 400 volunteers • 173 volunteers applied for projects • 89 volunteers on projects The story so far…
  45. 45. Some example case studies RSPCA • Modelling the UK dog population Elfrida Rathbone Camden • Designing an outcomes framework to measure impact Crimestoppers Trust • Improving performance whilst minimising cost
  46. 46. Who we have worked with
  47. 47. How to get involved • Sign up online http://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Pr obono.aspx • Come and chat to me now • Drop me an email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com
  48. 48. Webpage: www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx Blog: http://probonoOR.blogspot.co.uk/ Connect with me via: @FMcLeister Felicity McLeister Further information For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Phone: 0121 233 9300

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