Predictive Analytics Times
Predictive Analytics Times

4 years ago
Wise Practitioner – Predictive Analytics Interview Series: Peter Bull at DrivenData


In anticipation of his upcoming conference presentation, Predicting Restaurant Violations via Yelp Reviews: Crowdsourcing for Social Good, at Peter Bull imagePredictive Analytics World San Francisco, April 3-7, 2016, we asked Peter Bull, Co-founder at DrivenData, a few questions about his work in predictive analytics.

Q: In your work with predictive analytics, what behavior or outcome do your models predict?

A: Our models predict the count of hygiene violations of different severities for any given restaurant in Boston on any given day. These can be used by the Public Health department to prioritize which restaurants they inspect.

Q: How does predictive analytics deliver value at your organization – what is one specific way in which it actively drives decisions or operations?

A: Predictive analytics can allow cities to be more effective in serving their citizens. One of the best use cases is targeting city resources where they can make the most difference. In this example, it takes the form of sending inspectors to restaurants that are likely to have the most severe violations in order to protect public health.

Q: Can you describe a quantitative result, such as the predictive lift of your model or the ROI of an analytics initiative?

A: Using the same number of inspectional resources, the City of Boston could cite 40% more violations by effectively targeting which restaurants would be inspected.

Q: What surprising discovery or insight have you unearthed in your data?

A: Public-private data sharing partnerships can have a great impact on the quality of services that cities provide their citizens.

Q: Sneak preview: Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your talk at Predictive Analytics World.

A: By layering on new, non-traditional data sources—and using modern analysis techniques, such as sentiment analysis—cities can change how they operate for the better.


Don’t miss Peter’s conference presentation, Predicting Restaurant Violations via Yelp Reviews: Crowdsourcing for Social Good, on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 4:45 to 5:30 pm at Predictive Analytics World San Francisco. Click here to register to attend. USE CODE PATIMES16 for 15% off current prices (excludes workshops).

By: Eric Siegel, Founder, Predictive Analytics World

Eric Siegel is the founder of Predictive Analytics World ( — the leading cross-vendor conference series consisting of 10 annual events in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, London, and Berlin — and the author of the award-winning book, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die – Revised and Updated Edition, (Wiley, 2016).

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