Big Data’s Greatest Power: Predictive Analytics
There’s hardly an article, news story, webinar, or whitepaper these days that talks about Big Data
that doesn’t also talk about predictive analytics. In fact, I contribute extensively to that body of
work through my own talks and writings.
So, why is there such hype and curiosity about these topics? Even though the topics may seem
complicated, the answer is actually very straightforward. Previously, I reminded you that being
surprised is rarely a good thing in business. I emphasized the increase in accuracy in what can
now be achieved in the business models and forecasts using Big Data. Predictive analytics is the
methodology that makes that last statement true. Predictive analytics takes “historical” data into
consideration – using data mining and statistics – to try to predict what will happen in the future.
Now enter the concept of Big Data. Predictive analytics techniques performed on the vast stores
of very recently collected “historical” data creates the opportunity to develop those more
accurate models and forecasts in a near-real-time mode. In essence, the timeframe of the
“historical data” being analyzed has now changed. Companies now have the ability to make
business decisions based on these real-time forecasts. This is why there is such hype and
interest: who wants to drive looking out of their rear view mirror?
Predictive analytics though does not provide guarantees. Instead, it is all about increasing the
likelihood that a desired outcome will occur – at the right time, the first time. These concepts of
increased likelihood and timeliness are what make applying it to decision making so
enticing. Imagine if you were given the insights that would increase your accuracy of knowing
the outcome of a coin toss by 25%. That is a substantial accuracy increase. Suddenly, you
would be right 62.5% of the time. The other side of that coin, though, is that unfortunately you
would still be incorrect 37.5% of the time. It is important to understand and keep in
consideration both of these points. Making faster, educated decisions, and taking quicker action
should be at the heart of every business strategy.
Big Data derived predictive analytics are now popping up all around us in the consumer and
social world we interact in. Cash registers are now available that predict which discounts will be
redeemed to make smarter decisions as to what coupons will be given at check-out to drive
sales. Websites are now predicting which ad you’ll click in order to instantly choose which ad to
show, driving millions in new-found revenue. Netflix uses this approach to predict which movies
you will like. Doctors are now leveraging this to predict which treatment options are best to
pursue. Online dating sites predict who will be your best mate. Even decisions about who
should be eligible for parole are starting to be used forecast the risk that a convict will offend
again. Everywhere we turn, the power of Big Data derived predictions is becoming evident.
Those of us who lead companies and run its operations are also poised to benefit from this great
power. While I don’t have a crystal ball (little predictive modeling humor there), I am very
excited about the possibilities of predictive modeling being applied to the business world. In
fact, eQuest is also on the forefront of building systems that leverage the power of predictive
analytics for our customer’s advantage. With our announcement of our Post-Scheduler feature,
we are now giving our customer’s an industry first capability – the ability to know which days of
week to initiate an advertising campaign that will increase the likelihood of generating the
highest candidate response rate. By running predictive analyses against our Big Data, we extract
the connections and correlations in the data and provide those insights directly to the customer
directly at the point of the transaction. More importantly, though, we are providing this at time
when they need to achieve a critical business outcome – the first time.
We have also taken this concept of providing predictive analytic insights one step further to help
them develop their talent acquisition sourcing strategies. Companies have to both find and
attract the best talent in order to achieve the innovation and competitive advantage required to
remain a viable business. Our Big Data for HR consulting service provides customers with the
guidance on where to place their online recruitment advertising for optimal performance and
cost. It is now well understood that the talent acquisition function has the highest business
impact of any of the HR functions on the success of running a business. A data-driven talent
acquisition team can drive lasting competitive advantage for their businesses by ensuring that its
talent acquisition activities are strategically aligned to support two critical business success
measures – revenue growth and profitability. eQuest is providing our customers tailored, Big
Data, predictive analytics derived forecasts that drive their ability to build optimal online
recruitment marketing campaigns – the first time.
Have you benefitted from predictive analytics? I’d welcome your stories and feedback. Send
them along to email@example.com.
Want to learn how to experience the power of Big Data-derived predictive analytics? Click here
to make sense of what Big Data for HR really means. Click here to learn more about how
eQuest’s Big Data Predictive Analytics services are transforming the talent acquisition process
for companies of all sizes across the globe.