What's Your StORy?

Anne G. Robinson

Anne G. Robinson

April 2018 What's Your StORy?
Verizon, Executive Director, Global Supply Chain Strategy, Analytics and Systems

More questions for Anne G. Robinson?
Check out the Open Forum on INFORMS Connect!


What prompted you to enter this field?
I was pursuing a degree in math but knew I didn't want to be an accountant or an actuary, which is where most of my classmates were headed.

As an undergraduate I had the opportunity to attend a conference at Bentley College, just outside of Boston, called "What's a Mathematician Like You Doing in a Place Like This?" Someone from INFORMS (previously ORSA/TIMS) presented on the field of operations research (O.R.). 

They showed a cheesy but impactful video called "O.R. + You = An Exciting Career" and I was hooked! Here was a profession that used math for making every day decisions that could be applied to any domain. I applied for grad school and went from there.


How do you define "analytics"?
Well, I led the committee that helped define "analytics" for INFORMS, so I wholeheartedly believe in the definition: "the scientific process of transforming data into insight for making
better decisions."


What has been your favorite INFORMS experience so far?
Being president! It was particularly exciting during my tenure because INFORMS was at a pivotal moment, expanding its purview to embrace analytics. Being part of that evolution was a privilege and made my year as president particularly fun! I'm a strong believer in giving back to your community, and INFORMS is definitely my community.


Tell us about your experience as the Edelman Committee Chair, and what you hope the competition will achieve in the coming years.

Edelman is one of the gems of INFORMS – the opportunity to highlight outstanding accomplishments in our field. It is an honor to chair the competition because I get to see the breadth and depth of effort of all the applicants – not just the finalists. It is breathtaking! The number of people involved in the actual Edelman selection committee is also amazing. They span industry, academia, and public sector in the many different facets of our field, again highlighting the importance this award plays in the INFORMS landscape. 

I don't think the quality of application and level of executive support can get any higher (we have had CEOs, Presidents, and other top sponsors provide support for their teams). However, over the coming years, I would love to see broader recognition for the award in the media and in industry in general. While I realize award money is often negligible (and frequently donated), perhaps the prize needs to expand to rise up to the level of prestige the award signifies. 


What is something you learned in the last month?
Other than when you travel with a 9.5 month old you need to pack a whole bunch of stuff? More specifically, when your baby becomes fully mobile, you quickly realize how not baby proof your home is.


If we were sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it's been for you, what would we be celebrating?
A year from now...a happy and healthy 1.5-year-old baby girl. A continued successful career path. And Editor's Cut becoming the go-to source for topics in analytics.


What do you think women need for a successful analytics career?
I'm not sure that there is a gender difference here, but I think that a successful analytics career requires you to know your craft, have change management and communications skills, and then link the value of analytics back to the business--this piece is the most important--showing the value realized to the business. I've noticed that those who show this piece, and do it well, are the ones who get promoted.


What interest do you have outside of work that might surprise us?
These days, mostly sleeping. But, I am a big fan of music, especially jazz, and take the opportunity whenever I can to catch some live shows.


hich social network do you use most and why?
Personally, Facebook for family connections. Professionally, it's a toss-up between LinkedIn and Twitter.


What's your favorite Pandora station?
I like the Coffee House station on SiriusXM.


What is your spirit animal?