Predictive Analytics And The Business Of Certainty
Want to make really smart decisions for your company? It's simple as looking into the future and assessing the data--a service that a few young companies dealing in "predictive analytics" are selling.
Business swims in a sea of data. No matter what line of work you’re in--publishing, healthcare, retail, food service, drug-dealing--your business operates in a vast, swirling matrix of information. How many people are interested in your product? When do they show most interest? How much of your product should you produce? Where, when, and how should you sell it?
Data crunching giants like IBM and SAP have long mined and analyzed data for businesses, offering predictions about what actions will help their bottom line--“predictive analytics,” to use the industry buzzword. But the cost of such services has typically been so high--a price tag in the millions, if consulting services are added, is not altogether unheard of--as to limit their use to major corporations. Now, for the first time, a few smaller players are promising small and medium-sized businesses that they, too, can use predictive analytics to better forecast what actions will yield a greater profit.
Take, for instance, web publishing. Web publishers have traditionally been content with “real-time analytics”--that is, information about how readers are interacting with their site
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