Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die

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Praise for the Book:

"Readers will find this a mesmerizing and fascinating study. I know I did! . . . I was entranced by the book."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"What Nate Silver did for poker and politics, this does for everything else. A broad, well-written book easily accessible to non-nerd readers."

  • MoreDr. Leinweber is also founder, Lawrence Berkeley Lab Center for Innovative Financial Technology

—David Leinweber, author, Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines
and Wired Markets

"This book is an operating manual for 21st century life. Drawing predictions from big data is at the heart of nearly everything, whether it's in science, business, finance, sports, or politics. And Eric Siegel is the ideal guide."

—Stephen Baker, author, The Numerati and Final Jeopardy:
The Story of Watson, the Computer That Will Transform Our World

  • More praise"Brilliant stuff - I confidently predict that you are going to enjoy this book."
"This is Moneyball for business, government, and healthcare."

—Jim Sterne, founder, eMetrics Summit; chairman,
Digital Analytics Association

"The Freakonomics of big data."

—Stein Kretsinger, founding executive of; former lead analyst at Capital One

"Predictive Analytics is not only a deeply informative dive into a topic that is critical to virtually every sector of business today, it is also a delight to read."

  • More praise"To paraphrase Charlotte's Web, it is not often one comes across someone who understands predictive analytics and is also a good writer. Eric Siegel is just such a person."

—Geoffrey Moore, author, Crossing the Chasm

"Simultaneously entertaining, informative, and nuanced. Siegel goes behind the hype and makes the science exciting."

—Rayid Ghani, Chief Data Scientist, Obama for America 2012 Campaign

"The future is right now—you're living in it. Read this book to gain understanding of where we are and where we're headed."

  • More praise"This authoritative overview paints a vivid picture of the power to predict—and ultimately influence—the behavior of others and even ourselves. Offering expert insights few others can, Siegel explains how these systems work."

—Roger Craig, record-breaking analytical Jeopardy! champion; CEO, Cotinga

"A clear and compelling explanation of the power of predictive analytics, and how it can transform companies and even industries."

  • More praise"Predictive analytics is ubiquitous in the modern business world. It dictates how banks grant loans, how hedge funds make trades and much else."

—Anthony Goldbloom, Founder and CEO,

"Both sophisticated and fully accessible to the non-quantitative reader. It's got great stories, great illustrations, and an entertaining tone."

  • More praise"Non-quants should definitely read this book, because there is little doubt that their behavior will be analyzed and predicted throughout their lives. It's also quite likely that most non-quants will increasingly have to consider, evaluate, and act on predictive models at work... In short, we live in a predictive society. The best way to prosper in it is to understand the objectives, techniques, and limits of predictive models. And the best way to do that is simply... reading this book."
    —From the book's foreword by Thomas H. Davenport, Visiting Professor, Harvard Business School; the President's Distinguished Professor, Babson College; co-founder, the International Institute for Analytics; co-author, Competing on Analytics and several other books on analytics.

—From the book's foreword by Thomas H. Davenport, coauthor,
Competing on Analytics

"Eric Siegel's Predictive Analytics is the most readable (for we laymen) 'big data' book I've come across. By far. Great vignettes/stories."

—Tom Peters, co-author, In Search of Excellence (tweeted July 13, 2013)

"Littered with lively examples . . ."

The Financial Times

"Siegel is a capable and passionate spokesman with a compelling vision."

Analytics Magazine

"A must-read for the normal layperson."

Journal of Marketing Analytics

"The definitive book of this industry has arrived. Dr. Siegel has achieved what few have even attempted: an accessible, captivating tome on predictive analytics that is a 'must read' for all interested in its potentialŹ·and peril."

—Mark Berry, VP, People Insights, ConAgra Foods

"Eric Siegel's book succeeds where others have failed—by demystifying big data and providing real world examples of how organizations are leveraging the power of predictive analytics to drive measurable change."

—Jon Francis, Senior Data Scientist, Nike

"A fascinating page-turner about the most important new form of information technology."

—Emiliano Pasqualetti, CEO, DomainsBot Inc.

"As our ability to collect and analyze information improves, experts like Eric Siegel are our guides to the mysteries unlocked and the moral questions that arise."

  • More praise"Predictive Analytics demonstrates both the power of data to predict the future and the need for society to use this knowledge ethically and responsibly."

—Jules Polonetsky, Co-Chair and Director, Future of Privacy Forum;
former Chief Privacy Officer, AOL and DoubleClick

"In a fascinating series of examples, Siegel shows how companies have made money predicting what customers will do. Once you start reading, you will not be able to put it down."

  • More praise"This book is a must for any executive who wants to increase his company's revenue through analysis of the behavior of his present and potential customers."

—Arthur Middleton Hughes, VP, Database Marketing Institute; author,
Strategic Database Marketing 4th Edition (McGraw-Hill 2012)

"Excellent. Each chapter makes the complex comprehensible, making heavy use of graphics to give depth and clarity. It gets you thinking about what else might be done with predictive analytics."

  • More praise"Predictive analytics is already woven deeply into our every day life, and we should understand what the different tools can, and can not, do. It's also very important to understand the "why", to understand the rewards and risks from the application of different analytics capabilities."

—Edward Nazarko, Client Technical Advisor, IBM

"I've always been a passionate data geek, but I never thought it might be possible to convey the excitement of data mining to a lay audience. That is what Eric Siegel does in this book. The stories range from inspiring to downright scary—read them and find out what we've been up to while you weren't paying attention."

  • More praise"I've always found that claiming to be a statistician is a good way to shut up an over-talkative seatmate on a long flight, but something is changing. Moneyball a hit movie? Nate Silver on The Daily Show? Could predictive analytics be getting sexy?"

—Michael J. A. Berry, Author of Data Mining Techniques (Third Edition)

"Eric Siegel is the Kevin Bacon of the predictive analytics world, organizing conferences where insiders trade knowledge and share recipes. Now, he has thrown the doors open for you. Step in and explore how data scientists are rewriting the rules of business."

—Kaiser Fung, VP, Vimeo; author, Numbers Rule Your World

"Written in a lively language, full of great quotes, real-world examples, and case studies, it is a pleasure to read. The more technical audience will enjoy chapters on The Ensemble Effect and uplift modeling—both very hot trends. I highly recommend this book!"

—Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, Editor, KDnuggets; Founder, KDD Conferences

"Highly recommended. As Siegel shows in his very readable new book, the results achieved by those adopting predictive analytics to improve decision-making are game changing."

  • More praise"Eric's focus on stories, on real-world results, on using predictive analytics to actually make better decisions, and the general readability of this book make it a great choice whether you are new to the topic, curious about it or just need to explain it to others. Eric is a great presenter, always fun to listen to, and he has done a great job bringing this to his new book."

—James Taylor, CEO, Decision Management Solutions

"What is predictive analytics? This book gives a practical and up-to-date answer, adding new dimension to the topic and serving as an excellent reference."

—Ramendra K. Sahoo, Senior VP, Risk Management & Analytics, Citibank

"Exciting and engaging—reads like a thriller! Predictive analytics has its roots in people's daily activities, and, if successful, affects people's actions. By way of examples, Siegel describes both the opportunities and threats predictive analytics brings to the real world."

—Marianna Dizik, Statistician, Google

"Competing on information is no longer a luxury—it's a matter of survival. Despite its successes, predictive analytics has penetrated only so far, relative to its potential. As a result, lessons and case studies such as those provided in Siegel's book are in great demand."

  • More praise"In an increasingly commoditized global economy, with little product and services differentiation, and razor thin, eroding profit margins, competing on information is no longer a luxury, it's a matter of survival. Business intelligence and analytics - the art and the science of turning raw and meaningless data (bits and bytes, 1s and 0s) into meaningful and insightful information - are at the top of everyone's minds, priorities and budgets. While the tools and technologies that facilitate reporting on what has happened and analysis why did it happen have been around for decades, more and more enterprises and government agencies are beginning to deploy analytics that may help in telling them what might happen in the future given certain conditions (predictive analytics) and even prescribe best appropriate action to take (prescriptive analytics). With all the interest and emphasis on analtytics, including predictive and prescriptive analytics, enterprise maturity and penetration levels of enterprise grade analytics platforms and solutions are still relatively low. Such an immature, but a highly critical, market could definitely use multiple best practices and lessons learned to learn from - like best practices and case studies provided in Predictive Analytics - to improve its analytics maturity levels and make sure that all of the components are set in place so that they can indeed start or continue to successfully compete on information."

—Boris Evelson, VP & Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

"Fascinating and beautifully conveyed. Siegel is a leading thought leader in the space—a must-have for your bookshelf!"

  • More praise"In this era of big data, those firms who lead the way wielding the power of predictive analytics are the ones who will thrive."

—Sameer Chopra, VP Advanced Analytics, Orbitz Worldwide

"A brilliant overview—strongly recommended to everyone curious about the analytics field and its impact on our modern lives."

  • More praise"Eric Siegel skillfully ties these concepts to their impact in business and life in general with real cases."

—Kerem Tomak, VP of Marketing Analytics,

"Eric explains the science behind predictive analytics, covering both the advantages and limitations of prediction. A must read for everyone!"

—Azhar Iqbal, VP & Econometrician, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

"Predictive Analytics delivers a ton of great examples across business sectors of how companies extract actionable, impactful insights from data. Both the novice and expert will find interest and learn something new."

—Chris Pouliot, Director, Algorithms & Analytics, Netflix

"In this new world of big data, machine learning and data scientists, Eric Siegel brings deep understanding to deep analytics."

—Marc Parrish, VP Membership, Barnes & Noble

"A detailed outline for how we might tame the world's unpredictability. Eric advocates quite clearly how some choices are predictably more profitable than others—and I agree!"

—Dennis R. Mortensen, CEO of Visual Revenue, former Director of Data Insights at Yahoo!

"This book is an invaluable contribution to predictive analytics. Eric's explanation of how to anticipate future events is thought provoking and a great read for everyone."

—Jean Paul Isson, Global VP Business Intelligence & Predictive Analytics,
Monster Worldwide; coauthor, Win with Advanced Business Analytics:
Creating Business Value from Your Data

"Predictive analytics is the key to unlocking new value at a previously unimaginable economic scale. In this book, Siegel explains how, doing an excellent job to bridge theory and practice."

  • More praise"Industries and governments around the world are undergoing profound changes in how products are built and marketed, services structured and delivered, customers served, and associates managed. Analytics is no longer merely a tool to compete in the marketplace. The avalanche of new data about everything and everybody enables extraordinary value at a massive and previously unimaginable economic scale, creating whole new data-centric markets and organizations along the way and touching us in everyday lives in most meaningful ways. Simply put, predictive analytics is the key to unlocking this value. In the new book - Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie or Die - Eric Siegel vividly explains how big data is used to unlock this extraordinary value and why. This is an excellent book that is both rigorous in explanations and enjoyable to read. Many lively examples are given of how and why well-known organizations predict credit risk, school dropout, life expectancy, fraud, employee churn, and generally any individual or aggregate human behavior of interest to the organizations. Equally importantly, the book examines the difficult topics of responsibility and civil liberty in light of predicting valuable information about individuals, e.g. committing crime or quitting work or having a baby in the near future, without their knowledge or consent to use this predicted information. Eric Siegel has done an excellent job in bridging theory, practice, examples, risks, and value of using predictive analytics. I highly recommend this book to a broad audience: students of social or computer sciences, analysts, strategists, executives, policy makers, and consumers."

—Sergo Grigalashvili, VP of Information Technology, Crawford & Company

"Predictive analytics has been steeped in fear of the unknown. Eric Siegel distinctively clarifies, removing the mystery and exposing its many benefits."

—Jane Kuberski, Engineering & Analytics, Nationwide Insurance

"As predictive analytics moves from fashionable to mainstream, Siegel removes the complexity and shows its power."

  • More praise"Eric Siegel's Predictive Analytics is a must have on every business leader's book-shelf for its ability to remove the complexity associated with predictive analytics (PA) and shows, through examples and simple insights, the power of PA in improving decision processes. This text serves as a critical bridge to the business practitioner boiling down key concepts into an easy to understand mixture of practical examples, suggested actions and next steps."

—Rajeeve Kaul, Senior VP, OfficeMax

"Dr. Siegel humanizes predictive analytics. He blends analytical rigor with real-life examples with an ease that is remarkable in his field. The book is informative, fun and easy to understand. I finished reading it in one sitting. A must read... not just for data scientists!"

—Madhu Iyer, Marketing Statistician, Intuit

"An engaging encyclopedia filled with real world applications that should motivate anyone still sitting on the sidelines to jump into predictive analytics with both feet."

—Jared Waxman, Web Marketer at LegalZoom, previously at Adobe, Amazon, Intuit

"Siegel covers predictive analytics from start to finish, bringing it to life and leaving you wanting more."

  • More praise"A sometimes difficult discipline is covered from start to finish in such a manner that leaves you wanting more. It's a book for all practitioners, regardless of experience, who are serious about exploring the predictive power of data."

—Brian Seeley, Manager, Risk Analytics, Paychex, Inc.

"Data is everywhere! From websites to mobile apps, all of our devices are creating tremendous amounts of data. Everyone's talking about this data and using predictive analytics to be more successful. But it seems that most people don't have a grasp on what predictive analytics actually is. Eric has pulled a number of real world examples, for many different types of organizations to help businesses how they can use their data to identify opportunities to be more successful."

—Justin Cutroni, Analytics Evangelist, Google

"[The author] pulls off an amazing feat: making a difficult subject not only comprehensible but downright compelling and fun."

—Mark Vickers, Editor at ForesightR and Principal at Vigoré Publications

"An interesting and entertaining read that provides examples of the practical applications of using predictive analytics across a diverse swath of business industries."

—Steve Petitt, VP, Market Research & Analytics, CNB Marketing Research & Consulting

"Outfreakingstanding. The author's passion and excitement for the industry comes through on every page."

—Todd Nevis, Director, cofounder, icrunchdata

"Eric has captured the mythology of a new world, an exciting and scary journey where computers cross into the realm of prediction, influence, persuasion, and judgment. Our guide is the voice of experience from the new frontier, [taking us] through the evolution of this new science from the early programming inventions and mishaps into the present day of dependable machine learning."

  • More praise"A good read that takes us on a journey through the evolution of this new science to a snapshot of its present condition.

    "This is at once an historical survey of the emergence of analytics, a well-written discussion of the nuts and bolts of how it works, how hardware, software, and methodology combine to create a powerful, forward-looking technology, and an essay into the choices and unavoidable social ramifications that lie ahead. Our guide is the voice of experience from the new frontier, from the empirical trial and error of an emerging discipline to the intuitive grasp of arising social and ethical issues. Eric takes us from the early programming inventions and mishaps into the present day of dependable machine learning, modeling, ensembling, predicting, and influencing. He draws on anecdote, theory, literature and pop culture, big business and lone pioneers, and his fellow practitioners to place the emerging power of analytics in the context of modern society. He has captured the mythology of a new world, an exciting and scary journey where computers cross into the realm of prediction, influence, persuasion, and judgment.

    "The writing is flawless in the logical detail. The author [also] did a really nice job with the writing by keeping several dimensions going (anecdotes, science, logic, wit, charts and comic strips).

    "We are all going to be part of this history, and this book explains where we have been and asks us to ponder, if we cannot predict, the future.

    "I highly recommend this work as a survey to those in the field and as a historical briefing on predictive analytics for anyone concerned about this new power to change the future."

—David Becker, Loss Analyst in the insurance industry

"A wonderful look into the world of predictive analytics from the perspective of a true practitioner."

—Shawn Hushman, VP, Analytic Insights, Kelley Blue Book

"An excellent exposition on the next generation of business intelligence—it's really mankind's latest quest for artificial intelligence."

—Christopher Hornick, President and CEO, HBSC Strategic Services

"A must—Predictive Analytics provides an amazing view of the analytical models that predict and influence our lives on a daily basis. Siegel makes it a breeze to understand, for all readers."

—Zhou Yu, Online-to-Store Analyst, Google

"[Predictive Analytics is] an engaging, humorous introduction to the world of the data scientist. Dr. Siegel demonstrates with many real life examples how predictive analytics makes big data valuable."

—David McMichael, VP, Advanced Business Analytics

"'Everything you need to know, you learn in kindergarten' - that's how the saying goes. I am here to say that this is definitely not so. The tables have been turned and I've learned a good deal from this well-presented, accessible, lucid, and lively book."

  • More praise"'Everything you need to know, you learn in kindergarten' - that's how the saying goes. I am here to say that this is definitely not so. And I know what I'm talking about: I was Eric Siegel's kindergarten teacher and he most assuredly did not learn anything about predictive analytics from me. Now that I've read his new book, Predictive Analytics, I can say that the tables have been turned and I've learned a good deal from his well-presented, accessible, lucid, and lively book. Predictive Analytics stands out for its humor, style, and intelligence. (Okay - perhaps Eric did learn a thing or two from me in kindergarten, or perhaps he showed up in kindergarten already intelligent, humorous, and stylish.) Seriously, while the subject of this book is decidedly outside my normal reading material, even I learned from it and have already quoted it in conversations. So just imagine what you'll get out of it."

—Thomas McKean, the author's kindergarten teacher (seriously) & author, A Conversation with Ruth Pitter (HappenStance Press) and Into the Candlelit Room (Putnam's)

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