Data, Analytics and Statistics Instruction

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(A Specific Interest Group in the Decision Sciences Institute)
Formerly Making Statistics More Effective in Schools of Business

by Dr. Robert L. Andrews, Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics, Virginia Commonwealth University, track co-chair for the DSI DASI SIG.

Data, Analytics and Statistics Instruction (DASI) is a Specific Interest Group (SIG) in the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI). The main purpose of the SIG is to organize sessions at DSI that are related to instruction and practice in the areas of using data for the purposes of obtaining valuable information that can assist with decision making. Analytics and statistics are analysis disciplines that use data for decision making.

The most recent sets of DASI sessions were at the 2019 DSI conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, 2018 SEDSI meeting in Wilmington, North Carolina, the 2017 DSI meeting in Washington, DC, the 2017 SEDSI meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, the 2016 DSI meeting in Austin, Texas and the 2016 sessions at SEDSI in Williamsburg, Virginia. Note that the DASI sessions are invited sessions and do not rely on creating sessions from items submitted through the respective conference management systems. The next set of DASI sessions will be held at the 2020 DSI conference in San Francisco, California.

The Data, Analytics and Statistics Instruction SIG prior to 2016 used the name Making Statistics More Effective in Schools of Business, MSMESB. MSMESB had a prior history before becoming a part of the Decision Sciences Institute.

History of Making Statistics More Effective in Schools of Business

Making Statistics More Effective in Schools of Business (MSMESB) conferences began in 1986 at the University of Chicago. Subsequently, standalone conferences were held annually. The group’s name, coined by Harry Roberts, conveys the need for statisticians to do something to make statistics more effective, especially in schools of business. Since its inception, MSMESB has focused on improving the teaching of statistics and statistical thinking, on cross-disciplinary research, and cross-pollination between academia and industry, and on continuous improvement in business education.

While these standalone MSMESB meetings were held John McKenzie would organize a session that would summarize and promote the MSMESB annual meetings at the Decision Sciences Institute annual meeting. After the cessation of holding standalone MSMESB meetings; John McKenzie, Keith Ord and Bob Andrews organized statistics oriented sessions in a mini-conference at the annual Decision Sciences Institute meeting. Also MSMESB sessions have been held at the annual Joint Statistical Meeting.

During the 2009-10 academic year, the Decision Sciences Institute made Making Statistics More Effective in Schools of Business (MSMESB) one of the Institute’s original Specific Interest Groups (SIG). By the 2015 DSI annual meeting, it was one of the two functioning SIGs. The MSMESB DSI SIG has mainly focused on sessions at the DSI annual meeting and the annual meeting of the Southeast region of DSI (SEDSI).

At the 2015 DSI annual meeting, the MSMESB SIG members decided to change the name of the SIG. There was unanimous agreement that the original name no longer reflected the breadth of the current focus and activities of the SIG. While statistics education issues have remained an important part of the group's focus, this group has been the leader within DSI for promoting analytics and the effective use of data for decision making. Also the current focus has mainly been on instruction/education rather than research and these sessions have been well attended at DSI meetings. After a lengthy brain-storming session that included consideration of the acronym for the name, consensus formed for Data, Analytics and Statistics Instruction, DASI.