Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict the future? If we could use our experience of things past to make intelligent predictions about things to come. Sound a little sci-fi? Not in the world of business…

“The science of predictive analytics can generate future insights with a significant degree of precision. With the help of sophisticated predictive analytics tools and models, any organization can now use past and current data to reliably forecast trends and behaviors milliseconds, days, or years into the future.” (CIO, Transforming data into future insights)

Risk and opportunity are at the heart of businesses across the globe. Gauging the weight of that risk and the potential of those opportunities at any one time can determine future success. And savvy business leaders are quick to recognise the significant advantage offered up by the phenomenon of predictive analytics. The various uses and benefits of predictive analytics for businesses are wide-reaching.

The benefits of predictive analytics

In the supply chain and procurement industry, predictive analytics really comes into its own: the ability to forecast trends, make operations succinct, and increase efficiency in general means organisations can make business decisions that are a great deal more informed than ever before.

In retail, predictive models make it possible to forecast stock demands, while in hospitality and travel, hotels and airlines scale prices in line with trends. And while consumers may object to predictive analytics being used to hike up the cost of a flight, we can all be grateful for the banks that are equipped with this technology to flag any purchases that seem ‘out of the ordinary’.

Predictive analytics is also advantageous for today’s marketing professionals – helping to inform everything for example from approach to market, through to target audience when to target them, customer retention and estimating conversions allowing for optimisation of marketing campaigns.

Ultimately, this technology has the potential to afford its users a real competitive edge in today’s global marketplace. Regardless of industry or sector, the ability to determine future trends, leverage invaluable data by improving products and services, and effectively balance risk and opportunity is unprecedented. It’s also something that no company would choose to overlook.

But what of the future?

With the rapid rise in creation and usage of apps and mobile devices, the amount of consumer data collected by companies is increasing at exponential rates: predictive analytics will be most effective in helping businesses to interpret and leverage this data for much greater customer retention – allowing them to accurately determine who the customers are, what they’re interested in now, and perhaps most significantly, what they’re likely to want in the future.

After all, in the world of business, the future is now.

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