This segment of the analytics will explode soon. I have never made a prediction but if I were to make one - this will be it. Predictive Analytics have been the thing of super smart, masters of finance or PHD in statistics and/or mathematicians in an organization, not generally IT. This will soon change just like everything else has changed around us with consumerization of IT. Companies like SAS, SPSS (IBM) and bunch of other smaller niche companies offer predictive solutions to companies to make future decisions by analyzing the patterns in the data (all of the statistics: mean, variance, confidence-intervals, distribution, monte-carlo, seasonality, decision trees etc.)
Here are some anecdotal use-cases from the real would on how predictive is helping companies become smarter and more profitable:
"Some of the most famous examples of analytics in action come from the world of professional sports, where 'quants' increasingly make the decisions about what players are really worth. Consider these examples from the business world:
--Best Buy was able to determine through analysis of member data that 7% of its customers were responsible for 43% of its sales. The company then segmented its customers into several archetypes and redesigned stores and the in-store experience to reflect the buying habits of particular customer groups.
--Olive Garden uses data to forecast staffing needs and food preparation requirements down to individual menu items and ingredients. The restaurant chain has been able to manage its staff much more efficiently and has cut food waste significantly.
--The U.K.'s Royal Shakespeare Co. used analytics to look at its audience members' names, addresses, performances attended and prices paid for tickets over a period of seven years. The theater company then developed a marketing program that increased regular attendees by more than 70% and its membership by 40%."
Source : Forbes: Why Predictive Analytics Is A Game-Changer?
As always, more on this later.. My approach will be to introduce each topic in the Analytics and then go deeper as the opportunity arise. I want to bring more use-cases in future blogs...