Article | February 11, 2020
Whilst there are many people that associate AI with sci-fi novels and films, its reputation as an antagonist to fictional dystopic worlds is now becoming a thing of the past, as the technology becomes more and more integrated into our everyday lives.AI technologies have become increasingly more present in our daily lives, not just with Alexa’s in the home, but also throughout businesses everywhere, disrupting a variety of different industries with often tremendous results. The technology has helped to streamline even the most mundane of tasks whilst having a breath-taking impact on a company’s efficiency and productivity.However, AI has not only transformed administrative processes and freed up more time for companies, it has also contributed to some ground-breaking moments in business, being a must-have for many in order to keep up with the competition.
Article | February 11, 2020
Nowadays, everyone with some technical expertise and a data science bootcamp under their belt calls themselves a data scientist. Also, most managers don't know enough about the field to distinguish an actual data scientist from a make-believe one someone who calls themselves a data science professional today but may work as a cab driver next year. As data science is a very responsible field dealing with complex problems that require serious attention and work, the data scientist role has never been more significant. So, perhaps instead of arguing about which programming language or which all-in-one solution is the best one, we should focus on something more fundamental. More specifically, the thinking process of a data scientist.
The challenges of the Data Science professional
Any data science professional, regardless of his specialization, faces certain challenges in his day-to-day work. The most important of these involves decisions regarding how he goes about his work. He may have planned to use a particular model for his predictions or that model may not yield adequate performance (e.g., not high enough accuracy or too high computational cost, among other issues). What should he do then? Also, it could be that the data doesn't have a strong enough signal, and last time I checked, there wasn't a fool-proof method on any data science programming library that provided a clear-cut view on this matter. These are calls that the data scientist has to make and shoulder all the responsibility that goes with them.
Why Data Science automation often fails
Then there is the matter of automation of data science tasks. Although the idea sounds promising, it's probably the most challenging task in a data science pipeline. It's not unfeasible, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of expertise that's usually impossible to find in a single data scientist. Often, you need to combine the work of data engineers, software developers, data scientists, and even data modelers. Since most organizations don't have all that expertise or don't know how to manage it effectively, automation doesn't happen as they envision, resulting in a large part of the data science pipeline needing to be done manually.
The Data Science mindset overall
The data science mindset is the thinking process of the data scientist, the operating system of her mind. Without it, she can't do her work properly, in the large variety of circumstances she may find herself in. It's her mindset that organizes her know-how and helps her find solutions to the complex problems she encounters, whether it is wrangling data, building and testing a model or deploying the model on the cloud. This mindset is her strategy potential, the think tank within, which enables her to make the tough calls she often needs to make for the data science projects to move forward.
Specific aspects of the Data Science mindset
Of course, the data science mindset is more than a general thing. It involves specific components, such as specialized know-how, tools that are compatible with each other and relevant to the task at hand, a deep understanding of the methodologies used in data science work, problem-solving skills, and most importantly, communication abilities. The latter involves both the data scientist expressing himself clearly and also him understanding what the stakeholders need and expect of him. Naturally, the data science mindset also includes organizational skills (project management), the ability to work well with other professionals (even those not directly related to data science), and the ability to come up with creative approaches to the problem at hand.
The Data Science process
The data science process/pipeline is a distillation of data science work in a comprehensible manner. It's particularly useful for understanding the various stages of a data science project and help plan accordingly. You can view one version of it in Fig. 1 below. If the data science mindset is one's ability to navigate the data science landscape, the data science process is a map of that landscape. It's not 100% accurate but good enough to help you gain perspective if you feel overwhelmed or need to get a better grip on the bigger picture.
Learning more about the topic
Naturally, it's impossible to exhaust this topic in a single article (or even a series of articles). The material I've gathered on it can fill a book! If you are interested in such a book, feel free to check out the one I put together a few years back; it's called Data Science Mindset, Methodologies, and Misconceptions and it's geared both towards data scientist, data science learners, and people involved in data science work in some way (e.g. project leaders or data analysts). Check it out when you have a moment. Cheers!
Article | February 11, 2020
Data analytics are bringing big data to security and changing the way we look at security solutions. In video surveillance, analytics have opened a wide host of applications that customers can use to gather valuable business insights from video data. This not only increases the complexity of the customer solution but brings together stakeholders from departments previously remote in the security design decision. In 2020, a customer-centric design process will be crucial to understand a customer’s business beyond the security or IT department. Keep an open mind while exploring the potential of each new technology and tailor your security design solutions into a catalyst for your customer’s success. Always remember that with big data comes big responsibility.
Article | February 11, 2020
According to Google trends, predictive data analytics has gained a significant amount of popularity over the last few years. Many businesses have implemented predictive analytics applications to increase their business reach, gain new customers, forecast sales, and more.
Predictive Analytics is a type of data analytics technology that makes predictions with the help of data sets, statistical modeling, and machine learning. Predictive analytics uses historical data. This historical data is fed into a mathematical model that recognizes patterns and trends that are then applied to current data to forecast trends, practices, and behaviors from milliseconds to days and even years.
Based on the parameters supplied to them, organizations find patterns within that data to detect risks, opportunities, forecast conditions, and events that would occur at a particular time. At its heart, the use of predictive analytics answers a simple question, “What would happen based on my current data and what can be done to change the outcome.”
In the current times, businesses have multiple products offerings at their disposal to choose from vendors of big data predictive analytics in different industries. They can help these businesses leverage historical data discovering complex data correlation, recognizing patterns, and forecasting.
Organizations are turning to predictive analytics to increase their bottom line and gain advantages against their competition. Some of those reasons are listed below:
• With the growing amount and types of data, there is more interest in utilizing it to produce valuable insights
• Better computers
• An abundance of easy to use software
• Need of competitive differentiation due to tougher
As more and more easy-to-use software have been introduced, businesses no longer need statisticians and mathematicians for predictive analytics and forecasting.
Benefits of Predictive Analytics
Competitive edge over other businesses
The most common reason why multiple companies picked up predictive analytics was to gain an advantage over their competitors. Customer trends and buying patterns keep changing from time to time. The ones who can identify it first will go ahead in the game. Embracing predictive analytics is how you will stay ahead of your competition. Predictive analytics will aid in qualified lead generation and give you an insight into the present and potential customers.
Businesses opt for predictive analytics to predict customer behavior, preferences, and responses. Using this information, they attract their target audience and entice them into becoming loyal customers. Predictive analytics gives valuable information about your customers such as which of them are likely to lapse, how to retain them, whether you should market directly at them, etc. The more you know about them, the stronger your marketing will become. Your business will become the leader in predicting your customer’s exact needs.
Retaining existing customers is almost five times more difficult than acquiring new ones. The most successful company is the one that invests money in retaining those customers as much as acquiring new ones.
Predictive analytics helps in directing marketing strategies towards your existing customers and get them to return frequently. The analytics tool will make sure your marketing strategy caters to the diverse requirements of your customers.
Earlier marketing strategies revolved around the ‘one size fits all’ approach, but gone are those days. If you want to retain and acquire new customers, you have to create personalized marketing campaigns to attract customers.
Predictive analytics and data management help you to get new information about customer expectations, previous purchases, buying behaviors, and patterns. Using this data, you can create these personalized marketing strategies that will help keep up the engagement and acquire new customers.
Application of Predictive Analytics
Customer targeting divides the customer base into different demographic groups according to age, gender, interests, buying, and spending habits. It helps companies to create tailored marketing communications specifically to the customers who are likely to buy their products. Traditional techniques do not even come close to identifying potential customers as well as predictive analytics does.
The major constituents that create these customer groups are:
• Socio-demographic factors: age, gender, education, and marital status
• Engagement factors: recent interaction, frequency, spending habits, etc.
• Past campaign response: contact response, type, day, month, etc.
The customer-specific targeting for the company is highly advantageous. They can:
• Better communicate with the customers
• Save money on marketing
• Increase profits
Customer churn prevention
Customer churn prevention creates major hurdles in a company’s growth. Although it has been proven that retaining customers is cheaper than gaining new ones, it can become a problem. Detecting a client’s dissatisfaction is not an easy task as they can abruptly stop using your services without any warning.
Here, churn prevention comes into the picture. Churn prevention aims to predict who will end their relationship with the company, when, and why. The existing data sets can help develop predictive models so companies can be proactive to prevent the fallout.
Factors that can influence the churn are as follows:
• Customer variables
• Service use
• Competitor variables
Using these variables, companies can then take necessary steps to avoid the churn by offering customers personalized services or products.
Risk assessment and management processes in many companies are antiquated. Even though customer information is abundantly available for evaluation, it is still antiquated.
With advanced analytics, this data can be quickly and accurately analyzed while maintaining customer privacy and boundaries. Risk assessment thus allows companies to analyze problems with any business. Predictive analytics can approximate with certainty which operations are profitable and which are not.
Risk assessment analyzes the following data types:
• Socio-demographic factors
• Product details
• Customer behavior
• Risk metrics
Evaluating the previous history, seasonality, and market-affecting events make revenue predicting vital for a company’s planning and result in a company’s demand for a product or a service. This can be applied to short-term, medium-term, and long-term forecasting.
Predictive models help in anticipating a customer’s reaction to the factors that affect sales.
Following factors can be used in sales forecasting:
• Calendar data
• Weather data
• Company data
• Social data
• Demand data
Sales forecasting allows revenue prediction and optimal resource allocation.
Healthcare organizations have begun to use predictive analytics as this technology is helping them save money. They are using predictive analytics in several different ways. With the help of this technology, based on past trends they can now allocate facility resources, optimize staff schedules, identify patients at risk, adding intelligence to pharmaceutical and supply acquisition management.
Using predictive analytics in the health domain has also helped in preventing cases and risks of developing health complications like diabetes, asthma, and other life-threatening problems. The application of predictive analytics in health care can lead to making better clinical decisions for patients.
Predictive analytics is being used across different industries and is good way to advance your company’s growth and forecast future events to act accordingly. It has gained support from many different organizations at a global scale and will continue to grow rapidly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is predictive analytics?
Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future events. The historical data is used to build mathematical model that captures essential trends. That predictive model is based on current data that predicts what will happen next or suggest steps to take for optimal outcomes.
How to do predictive analytics?
• Define business objectives
• Collect relevant data available from resources
• Improve on collected data by data cleaning methods
• Choose a model or build your own to test data
• Evaluate and validate the predictive model to ensure
How does predictive analytics work for business?
Predictive analytics helps businesses attract, retain, and grow their profitable customers. It also helps them in improving their operations.
What tools are used for predictive analytics?
Some tools used for predictive analytics are:
• SAS Advanced Analytics
• Oracle DataScience
• IBM SPSS Statistics
• SAP Predictive Analytics
• Q Research
"name": "What is predictive analytics?",
"text": "Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future events. The historical data is used to build a mathematical model that captures essential trends. That predictive model is based on current data that predicts what will happen next or suggest steps to take for optimal outcomes."
"name": "How to do predictive analytics?",
"text": "Define business objectives
Collect relevant data available from resources
Improve on collected data by data cleaning methods
Choose a model or build your own to test data
Evaluate and validate the predictive model to ensure "
"name": "How does predictive analytics work for business?",
"text": "Predictive analytics helps businesses attract, retain, and grow their profitable customers. It also helps them in improving their operations."
"name": "What tools are used for predictive analytics?",
"text": "Some tools used for predictive analytics are:
SAS Advanced Analytics
IBM SPSS Statistics
SAP Predictive Analytics