To the untrained eye, the thought of predicting the future can seem mystical, or at most, improbable. When the RapidMiner team predicted that Spain would win the World Cup in 2010, there was always a chance that something else would happen but the prediction (based on sentiment analysis of social media commentary by the fans) said that the odds were in favor of Spain winning, not that it was certain that Spain would win.

There’s a whole city that owes “The Odds” a huge debt. The gambling Mecca Las Vegas, Nevada rose up in the desert on house odds.  Even slightly better than even odds carries an advantage.  A 51% or 52% advantage can add up quickly and Las Vegas’ founding fathers knew this.

When you work with Predictive Analytics, you work these odds.  You don’t look for the single prospect most likely to become a customer in the future.  You pull a list of the 50, 100 or 1000 most likely and focus your resources there.  Your advantage comes from the directed, educated actions you take.