Archive for November, 2013

November 18th 2013

The power to predict who will click, buy, lie or die.

Product Margins

I was honored to have my book, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die reviewed by  Shakthi Poornima in Product Margins. Here is an excerpt from the review.

The power to predict who will click, buy, lie or die

Working in the field of Big Data means taking into consideration not hundreds or thousands, but millions, billions, or even bigger datapoints.  And underneath all that data, lies unparalleled potential. Just imagine being able to predict one’s location up to multiple years beforehand by using GPS data (Microsoft), or being able to predict one’s risk of death in surgery (Riskprediction.org.uk). That’s what the book, “Predictive Analytics: The power to predict who will click, buy, lie or die” is about. It covers building applications in marketing, health care, fraud, finance, human resources., etc by a variety of parties — companies, banks, governments, even universities. Everyone has an interest in data.

…overall, the examples in the book are well-researched. What was interesting to me was the possibility of taking the predictions from various studies to building new products.s For example, Orbitz found that Mac users book more expensive hotels. “Orbitz applies this insight, altering displayed options according to your operating system” (p.81). A different study found that one’s inclination to buy online varies by the time of day:  8pm for retmail, late night for dating, 1pm for finance, and so on. Combining the insights from both studies can come in handy for marketing a new product, or starting an A/B test for that product. The potential for meshing various different types of data grows as different applications are developed around same or similar datasets, and as these datasets grow in size.

Click here to read the full review at ProductMargins.com.

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November 11th 2013

Expanding the Predictable Universe

 

I was honored to have my book, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die, reviewed by Patrick Tucker in The Furturist. Here is an excerpt from the review.

Expanding the Predictable Universe

Data scientist Eric Siegel explains the brave, new, and surprising world of predictive analytics.

Whenever you go to a major merchandise retailer and pull items off the shelf, you create a little piece of information that the retailer stores in a database. As more people pull items off those shelves, the retailer has the opportunity to learn something about all of you, in real time, and can use that information to predict what you might be interested in buying next. With the emergence of extremely large databases and ever-better transaction records, the relationship between what we buy, where we go, and what we might do next is becoming ever more clear.

In his new book, Predictive Analytics, researcher Eric Siegel refers to this computerized semi-clairvoyance as “the prediction effect.” Siegel achieved some small notoriety in 2012, when New York Times writer Charles Duhigg interviewed him on a story about predictive analytics (PA). Siegel recalls that Duhigg “asked for interesting discoveries that had come from PA. I rattled off a few that included pregnancy prediction.” Siegel directed him to a video from one of the many PA conferences that Siegel runs.

The video was a keynote presentation by data scientist Andrew Pole of Target, discussing how Target used data from its massive baby-registry service to predict pregnancy through consumer habits. For instance, many women, upon discovering that they are pregnant, may put unscented skin lotion on their registries, since pregnancy can dry out skin and scented lotion can have a negative effect on a developing fetus. The switch to unscented baby lotion can serve as one of many predictors of pregnancy—an issue of keen interest to Target, since expectant mothers can become much more profitable customers.

The Target model, in the words of Siegel, “identified 30 percent more customers for Target to contact with pregnancy-oriented marketing material—a significant marketing success story.”

Click here to read the full review at WFS.org.

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November 4th 2013

Review of Predictive Analytics in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Seattle

I was honored to have my book, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die reviewed by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Here is an excerpt from the review.

Review of Predictive Analytics in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Can computers learn? How can computers increase our predictive capacities? If you've always wondered about these questions, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die is for you!

We seem to be obsessed with prediction. We'd love to predict and know what will happen in our future. We go to palm readers, read our horoscopes daily or weekly, and feast upon fortune cookies to get some idea, however, inaccurate, of what may happen to us in the future.

But is prediction of this sort accurate? Regardless, people are very interested in this type of prediction and will spend any money and effort to achieve it.

Most people don't really know what predictive analytics means and how anyone can be interested in such a mysterious discipline. But after reading Eric Siegel's book, readers will find this a mesmerizing and fascinating study. I know I did! And given my background in philosophy, I was entranced by the book.

Predictive analytics is intuitive, powerful, and awe-inspiring. A little bit of prediction can go a long way towards combatting financial risk, fortifying healthcare, conquering spam, toughing crime fighting, and boosting sales. It can even be used to predict when someone is going to die.

Click here to read the full review at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.com.

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