• MIT professor David Simchi-Levi speaks at the March 2014 Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics Innovation Consortium event.

    MIT professor David Simchi-Levi speaks at the March 2014 Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics Innovation Consortium event.

    Photo: The Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics

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Call for analytics research proposals and announcement of seed funding for non-tenured professors

David Simchi-Levi

Research will be conducted through the Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics.


Accenture and MIT are issuing a call for research proposals from MIT faculty to further discover advanced analytics solutions that can help solve some of the most complex and challenging problems facing today’s global companies. Accenture and MIT are also providing seed funding for non-tenured professors to support their analytics research.

Through the Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics, Accenture analytics experts, MIT faculty and researchers, and a select group of participating companies have come together to research the use of analytics in areas such as social media causal monitoring, learning and revenue optimization, equipment failure prediction, and fraud detection and prevention. The call for proposals from MIT faculty is for the next round of research that will begin in early 2015.

“We are pleased to provide seed funding to support non-tenured faculty and their research. This also benefits the alliance by continuing to bring in new thinking and ideas to the alliance’s research portfolio,” says Professor David Simchi-Levi, co-lead of the Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics.

Narendra Mulani, senior managing director of Accenture Analytics and co-lead of the Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics, says: “The research results already obtained through the alliance have established new advanced analytics solutions that can help businesses improve customer loyalty, increase revenues, and improve their business operations. We’re excited to continue the analytics research journey with this next round of research projects and drive real business outcomes through analytics.”

The new research charters are listed here and currently include:

  • Early Warning Detection – Industrial Operations: Telematics enables businesses to collect machine parameters that can be aggregated to create fleet or population data; this assesses the health of the fleet. New product launches, where the amount of available data is limited, pose significant challenges to detecting problems involving the fleet. The goal of the project is to identify approaches to detect problems with new product launches as quickly as possible.
  • Collateral Optimization – Risk Management: Banks can face situations where good collateral becomes a scarce resource. As such, the allocation of collateral to different exposures needs to be optimal at all times. Today’s allocation algorithms are suboptimal and may not account for changing conditions effectively. The goal of the project is to identify optimization techniques to improve a bank’s ability to allocate its collateral resources effectively.

More charters will be added in the coming weeks.

Call for proposals and submission instructions

Both tenured and non-tenured professors are invited to submit a proposal to participate in an upcoming Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics research project. The submission process and timing details are as follows:

Tenured faculty: Tenured faculty that would like to participate in a currently listed research charter or submit a new research idea, please submit a proposal to aba@mit.edu that includes the following elements: the problem or challenge, the objective of the study, expected outcomes, and the type of data required. New research ideas not related to current charters will be considered pending identification of a participating company.

Non-tenured professors: Non-tenured professors who have not yet participated in alliance research may also submit research ideas and proposals for potential seed funding. To submit a research idea for seed funding, please contact Leslie Sheppard at lsheppar@mit.edu.

Both charter and seed funding proposals should focus on business analytics applications that can solve challenging real-world problems. All proposals will be reviewed and approved by the alliance’s board, and successful candidates will be notified by email. Depending on the submission date, research projects may begin as early as January/February 2015 and must be completed within a 12-month timeframe.

The Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics combines Accenture's industry and analytics expertise with MIT's scientific and technological leadership. Its research aims to close the gap between the advance of analytics technologies and their successful application in specific industry and government environments. The Alliance’s two streams of collaboration cover the challenges of harnessing big data and new approaches to improve the science of decision-making. It is headed by Narendra Mulani, senior managing director for Accenture Analytics, and David Simchi-Levi, professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering systems at MIT.

For more information, please visit the Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics website.


Topics: Grants, Research, Big data, Operations research, Analytics, Industry

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