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Predictive Analytics – Worth the Investment?

Predictive Analytics

The answer is YES! I have written a few blogs about predictive analytics, but wanted to take a small step back and define predictive analytics. There are various thoughts, ideas, perceptions etc. and a lot of talk about predictive analytics being the next wave in big data analytics. But what is it exactly? Remember the movie Minority Report? Well, we aren’t quite there – where we are predicting whether anyone will actually commit a crime – but, the concept of using big data to predict potential scenarios and bring new insights for your organization is here.

Predictive analytics allows you to add what/if scenarios alongside your historical data. It brings together advanced analytics capabilities spanning ad-hoc statistical analysis, predictive modeling, data mining, text analytics, entity analytics, optimization, real-time scoring, machine learning and more. It allows you to move forward from static reports to a more intelligent decision-making process. Basically, it helps guide you with answers to What happened?  Why?  What next? 

Predictive technology is here. Recently, Forrester Research looked at the major big data predictive analytics solutions and identified the top three (see page 11). At the highest point for leadership and market presence is IBM—which makes sense given that IBM has invested heavily in this space.

IBM and Predictive Analytics

Many people are aware of IBM Watson, the computer that beat human competitors Jeopardy! and talked with Bob Dylan about a possible collaboration. Watson is pretty cool, but there is another key component to IBM’s predictive solutions – IBM SPSS.

Some organizations struggle to get the maximum business value out of their data. IBM saw an easier way through SPSS. There are two primary modules that you work with: SPSS Modeler, which helps you create predictive models for your business processes, and SPSS Statistics, which provides advanced statistical analysis of your data for deep insights into your business challenges.

These two modules can be deployed in multiple configurations based on your unique requirements and the needs of various business units. The power of IBM SPSS predictive analytics solutions provide benefits across the entire enterprise. It puts capabilities into the hands of business users, data scientists, and developers.

Some examples of where predictive analytics is having an impact in various industries as well as areas within organizations are:

Customer Analytics – Understand who your most lucrative customers are, the best ways to attract them, and how to maximize their lifetime value through up-selling and cross-selling strategies. IBM SPSS has a social media analytics tool to help you tap into social media data to learn more about your customers and build a deeper connection.

Operational Analytics – Gain better visibility into your processes, people, and assets. Optimize your operations to maximize profitability and productivity. Inventory management improves through predictive analytics when you can bring in more data from sales forecasts, cyclical trends, market conditions, social content, and more.

HR Analytics – Use the data you currently have on employees to find, attract, and retain the best people. Based on your business information, you can not only help put your team in the best position to be successful, but you can also forecast future staffing requirements. HR recruiters can be more proactive instead of simply reacting to work orders and focusing on individual transactions.

Asset Analytics – Maximize the lifetime value of your critical assets. Use predictive analytics to optimize uptime by avoiding unexpected errors and proactively maintaining equipment. You can gain greater insight into the use of your assets so that you can make more informed purchasing decisions in the future.

Fraud and Threat Analytics – Secure your data, applications, and money using predictive data analytics, which is increasingly becoming more important in these areas. Every threat cannot be accounted for. It requires constant and consistent monitoring while assessing activities for suspicious behavior. And if there is an incident, how quickly you react can greatly affect your business. If you are the victim of a major fraud, that usually becomes apparent pretty quickly. However, smaller hits could take months to uncover. Very often, data breaches are not detected for over 6 months. Unlike losing money, when someone steals copies of your data, those files do not disappear.

K-12 Organizations –  School districts, colleges and universities are making the most out of their decisions by analyzing trends and predicting future outcomes centering around student retention, student enrollment, student performance/success and institutional research. 

Predictive Analytics Is Here

Implementing a predictive analytics solution can be the single most important investment you make in 2016. A successful implementation can alter the competitive landscape of your industry. You want to make sure that you choose a platform based on best-of-breed capabilities. In order to help, you can take a look at this study from Forrester Research, in which they evaluate 13 solutions and name three leaders in predictive analytics solutions.

Optimize the future with better decisions today. Let’s work together and put a predictive analytics plan together for your organization. Give us a shout today!

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