By: Emmanuel Mbanali
An important trend in analytics that seem to be a game changer because it offers a great potential in terms of return over investment , provides business intelligence and data inventory is the use predictive analytics. Organizations looking to expand and generate insights are looking at predictive analysis to gain business intelligence and competitive advantage. Predictive analytics enables the integration of technology into diverse domains by offering customized insights that lead businesses to generate new customer reports and insights (Some, 2018). With the advancement of big data, predictive analytics/intelligences has taken a much more sophisticated approach that can be used to indicate which projects to cross-sell and to which customer (Quick,2018).
Predictive analytics does not only gives organization the opportunity to predict the future through the generated and analyzed data from the past and the present (Gleason, 2018). It gives business the opportunity to plan for several scenarios that might arise in the future based on the information extracted from the analysis of data. Big data (including stored and real-time data) serve no purpose without analytics, but with predictive analytics, organization can use the data and customer insight to predict future events (Beal, 2018). Organizations can use predictive analytics to detect trends and forecast events that are likely to occur at a given point in time by using a wide range of methods which includes machine learning, mathematical process, big data and data mining (Edward, 2018).
It is important to state the difference between traditional analytics and predictive analytics and why predictive analytics is important for business intelligence. While traditional analytics is focused on insights generation that impact the present result from reports, predictive analytics provide the opportunity for users to take a good look at the near and long future, and also pinpoint likely trends and behaviors (Edward, 2018). Predictive analytics is expected to help improve data quality that could be used to detect anomalies that could go unnoticed (Olavsrud, 2018). This is possible through automated analysis of data.
Predictive analytics uses several models to enable the generation of actionable insights and creating positive long term results by analyzing past and current data (Edward, 2018). A far as business organization is concerned, the existence of competitive pressure to acquire customers, understand the needs of this customers in order to optimize and develop long lasting relationship, it is important to adopt the use of predictive analytics not only to be proactive and anticipate needs, but also to mitigate risks and fraud.
Predictive analytics can be used by marketers to predict not only the future buying habits but make decisions based on the predictions that are likely to be accurate (Quick, 2018). There are several things a marketer can do the predictive analytics when applied to big data. Some of the possibility according to Faggella, 2018 include the predictive modeling for customers behavior, qualification and prioritization of leads. Others, in no particular order include, prioritization of customers based on several factors, analyzing and forecasting seasonal customer behavior, development of more effective marketing and advertising strategies that will attract the audience to product and service, targeting the most profitable products to customers mostly likely to buy the products and use the best strategies to win repeat business (Quick, 2018).
Some of the vendors and service providers of predictive analytics include, Infogix, IBM Analytics, Optimove, AgileOne. Predictive analytics can be applied in different domain to provide the business intelligence and competitive advantage. By using different statistical methods, there is no doubt that predictive analytics will provide the insights that generate new customer responses or transaction and promote cross-sell opportunities. This means organization, through its marketing department that utilizes predictive analytics, can better identify potential customer, hence lead to conversions.