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The Best Practices of Using Predictive Analytics by Businesses

by Nathan Zachary
Predictive Analytics

By now, there seems to be a very small number of people associated with business who have not heard of predictive analytics.

The popularity of predictive analytics has grown day by day as a powerful business tool that helps in gaining insights into the data to make informed decisions.

What is Predictive Analytics?

Before delving into the subject matter at hand, let us refresh our minds with the concept of predictive analytics.

It will help to solidify the concept for the ones accustomed to what it is all about. And, for people who are yet to know what predictive analytics is, a walk-through of the concept will help them understand the concept.

In simple terms, predictive analytics, a branch of advanced analytics, allows making predictions about future business outcomes.

The forecasts are made with the help of applying statistical modeling, data mining, and machine learning techniques on historical data.

Predictive analytics enables finding different patterns in historical data. And, the patterns allow identifying risks and opportunities.

Predictive analytics is part of big data and data science.

However, there is an important aspect to note. The outcomes of predictive analytics depend on the quality of input data. So, it is important to follow best practices to ensure that your predictive model elicits accurate outcomes.

There is a dire need for businesses to exercise caution while implementing predictive analytics, which is also prone to mistakes. And, flaws can take a toll on the outcomes of this.

To apprise the readers of the common mistakes, we mention three of them and ways to avoid them hereunder:

Undefined Objectives

It is perhaps the number one on the list of possible mistakes businesses make in implementing this.

Predictive analytics does not refer to any specific technologies, methods, or value propositions. It is a technique in itself that allows businesses to find value in their data.

It will also not be wrong to regard predictive analytics as depending on machine learning to learn from experience and predict future trends, helping businesses to make better decisions.

Predictive analytics empowers businesses to optimize operations by forecasting the most likely scenarios.

With the predictions, businesses can quickly determine the best action to take, depending on the scenario or use case.

The analytics also helps businesses to determine the most likely customers who will purchase, and identify the ones likely to commit fraud.

Therefore, businesses can actuate corrective actions. And, it is essential to align your predictive analytics strategy with your business goals.

But, businesses should not implement predictive analytics as their end goal.

Build the Right Team

It often happens that when businesses apron analytics solution providers, the latter claims that their software gives the best solution due to the excellent features.

Moreover, they go to the extent of saying that their software can be the most comprehensive solution for your business.

It is a bad practice of going by what the prospective analytics solution providers claim. Instead, businesses should identify the problems that require specific software solutions.

So, a predictive analytics tool cannot form the entire solution process.

It is a good practice to develop in-house capabilities by managing a competent team.

Plan the Deployment

Failure to successfully deploy a predictive analytics solution often hinders businesses to attain the most benefits of the analytics.

Therefore, businesses should plan the deployment. And, it is a mistake to abstain from doing so.

It can be a good idea to break down the entire predictive analytics project into a series of steps that focus on the best ways to deploy this.

It is essential to know what to predict, and what data is essential for the prediction.

So, you should actuate the following steps:

  • Be clear about your business objectives
  • Define the right prediction objective aligned with the business objective
  • Prepare the right training data
  • Use machine learning techniques to derive the predictive model
  • Deploy the predictive model


The final outcome of any forecast and predictive analytics depends on the data quality, and the right ways of handling the data. Therefore, you should avoid committing the mistakes outlined in this article. Again, you should also not trust your analytics service provider blindly. You should use your rationale before hiring a service provider.

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