It’s ‘Time’ for Predictive Analytics

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With the debut of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight web site for ESPN, readers of TIME magazine read Jack Dickey’s story about Silver to learn more about his empirical method of forecasting pro sports and election results. Using this approach, Silver has a track record of very accurately predicting results, often decisively beating intuitive expertise and informed opinion. The same Predictive Analytics technology is becoming more commonplace, also being applied to business problems such as identifying unhappy customers, and reliably anticipating factory floor breakdowns.

It’s no coincidence that just a few weeks prior, TIME ran another Predictive Analytics story. This one, written by Bill Saporito, was about the Cancellator, an algorithmic program used by American Airlines that “…use(s) predictive models to cancel flights early, before people even leave for the airport.”

It’s that difference between what has happened and what will happen that is capturing the mainstream media’s attention. It’s the astonishing degrees of accuracy that is also making business executives sit up and take notice as well. Silver correctly predicted the 2012 presidential election winner in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

While some businesses, and pro sports teams and scouts, will continue to make some decisions based on observation and intuition, Predictive Analytics is going mainstream.

 

Ingo Mierswa

Ingo Mierswa

Ingo Mierswa is the founder and president of RapidMiner and an industry-veteran data scientist since starting to develop RapidMiner at the Artificial Intelligence Division of the TU Dortmund University in Germany. Mierswa, the scientist, has authored numerous award-winning publications about predictive analytics and big data. Mierswa, the entrepreneur, is the founder of RapidMiner. Under his leadership RapidMiner has grown up to 300% per year over the first seven years. In 2012, he spearheaded the go-international strategy with the opening of offices in the US as well as the UK and Hungary. After two rounds of fundraising, the acquisition of Radoop, and supporting the positioning of RapidMiner with leading analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester, Ingo takes a lot of pride in bringing the world’s best team to RapidMiner.