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From the Editors: Overcoming fears about predictive analytics software

Predictive analytics programs can be hampered by a lack of trust in predictive models among business users and cost concerns. Get expert advice on how to deal with those and other issues.

Fear of the future: It’s something we’re all afflicted with at times. (Based on my scientific sample of one person, at least.) And it can be a big issue on deployments of predictive analytics tools. In fact, convincing business managers and workers to trust in the recommendations of predictive models can be the No. 1 challenge on predictive analytics projects, according to some consultants.

How do you build business buy-in for believing what the models are telling you and taking actions based on their advice? Don’t go off in a corner and create “cool” models for your own amusement, say analytics professionals and the aforementioned consultants. It’s much more productive, they advise, to target specific business problems and work directly with business users to test models and do with-and-without analytical comparisons on real data. If all goes well, that will produce “quick wins” that can help spread the word about the business value of predictive analytics.

Future costs can also be a source of organizational angst about predictive analytics, especially in a fear-inducing economic environment like the one we’re still stuck with. But industry analysts say that companies can do predictive analytics on a tight budget. They suggest starting not with a technology purchase but with an internal assessment and a project blueprint aimed at creating a self-sustaining analytics program.

Have no fear: We’ll be publishing additional articles with tips on how to manage predictive analytics initiatives in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can get more advice on implementing and using predictive analytics software and other analytics and business intelligence (BI) tools by listening in to our Analytics in Action virtual seminar. The free event features five expert sessions and will be available for on-demand access through mid-December.

Has your organization bought into predictive analytics or other advanced analytics technologies? Feel free to send me an email on your experiences, or on other BI and analytics topics.

Twitter: BizAnalytics_TT

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