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February 2017, Vol. 5, No. 1

Predictive analytics tools hinge on good data, business expertise

They say the only thing certain in life is uncertainty, but there are at least some things we can predict with absolute confidence. I know with 100% surety, for example, that when I tell my 4-year-old daughter it's time for bed, she'll say she isn't tired. My certainty of this response allows me to prepare for the resistance with a strategy that involves firm demands; some cajoling; and, ultimately, bribery. Unfortunately, customer behaviors are much harder to predict, and that uncertainty can mean the difference between the success and failure of new products or services. Our need to control outcomes, in life and business, has placed us smack dab in the middle of today's data-driven world. We now have an arsenal of predictive analytics tools at our disposal to forecast outcomes with greater certainty than ever before. These tools can validate business leaders' gut instincts to invest in a promising new product or dissuade them from launching a product likely to go the way of Microsoft's Zune. But it's a tricky proposition to ...

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