Operating in retail and online commerce, finance, telecoms, media, any subscription based or CRM gathering service you should be currently engaged in predictive analytics to ensure better understanding and retaining customers (or readers) and acquiring new ones more effectively.
Based on TDWI Research, the key reasons companies utilise predictive analytics are; to predict trends, understand customers, improve business performance, drive strategic decision-making, and predict behaviour. Predictive analytics is a must for retention, optimisation and acquisition strategies.
It's a bit of a (data) minefield getting your head around not just understanding and best practice predictive analytics (if you're like me and neither a data scientist or a mathematician) but also best understanding the appropriate product solutions for your personal and corporate use.
I'm loving the site Predictive Analytics Today. It's full of valuable advice and insights covering Predictive Analysis (of course), BI, Big Data and Text Analytics. There's news, reviews and tips plus plenty more to really geek out on. If you're just getting into predictive analysis, want to compare products or get the headlines of the offerings for confidence in decision making on supplier products and negotiations, there's a cheats guide to the best predictive analytics software. Incredibly useful and comprehensive.
Check out The Top 23 Predictive Analytics Software, as outlined by Predictive Analytics Today, which shows the usual suspects and arguably best providers in the likes of SAS, SAP and IBM with functions generally covering data mining, statistics, modelling,visualisation, econometrics, optimisation and forecasting but also summarises some lesser cited players like DSS (Data Science Studio) which enable correlation and significant variable data discovery and allows for testing of best fitting models.
There are also many free software solutions. Take a peek at the Top 12 Predictive Analytics Freeware Software. Everything from R and Orange to RapidMiner. Personally, I'm a little hooked on R at the moment. It's relatively straight forward and easy to self-teach. Certainly a great way to start building your confidence in PA software before investing in more intricate solutions.
Are there any on these lists you're using? Which ones so you rate?
How is your predictive analysis journey going?
Technology is enabling DIY in all business departments with key benefits being greater efficiency and ownership. Research is no exception. Some neat products to enable DIY, in-house management and consultancy-based operations for research vary from analytics support to real-time surveying. Check out GutCheck, 20|20 Research and Qualtrics as a few suggestions.
A word of caution - good operators never blame their tools! Always seek professional guidance on implementation, methodologies and best-practice.
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