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Business Analytics: Predictive and Beyond
Helping You Look Around And Ahead With Business Analytics

by Robert Hunter, Dashboard InsightMonday, May 4, 2009

As the name suggests, predictive analysis tries to make forecasts of future events, trends and probabilities, often based on data mining and other complex event processing.  (You can easily see this kind of modeling in the insurance and credit industries, where someone's past actions may affect a future outlook.)  But nearly every industry engages in predictive analysis at some level, especially marketing departments, the security industry, the economics sector, among many others.

In May, Dashboard Insight will look at business analytics from a BI perspective.  We're using the month to not only address the basics of predictive analytics but also give you as much content as possible on how you can benefit from all the tools and techniques that surround it.

We look forward to receiving your articles and dashboards as well as having you visit us in May!

During May, you can expect to find the following articles:

This Idiot's Guide To Business Analytics

For those new to business intelligence (BI), analytics is a broad topic, but a critical component of the BI space. What follows is a high-level introduction of the subject. I'll do my best to describe the fundamentals of what it is and what it does, at least in a way that relates to Dashboard Insight readers.

by: Robert Hunter - Dashboard Insight

One-on-One with Kris Hackney - Vice President, SPSS Worldwide Strategic Accounts and Services

Dashboard Insight recently spoke with SPSS's Kris Hackney about her vast global customer network, her deployment methodology, and why predictive analytics software helps solve such a variety of issues.

by: Karly Gaffney - Dashboard Insight

One-on-One with Miriam G. Tuerk - President & CEO of Infobright

Dashboard Insight recently spoke with Infobright's Miriam Tuerk about data warehouse solutions, her partnership with Jaspersoft - and how a customer can get up and running with her open source software in just minutes.

by: Karly Gaffney - Dashboard Insight

Never Drive Without a Dashboard

News tells the stories of the day, and in the same sense, your marcom plan is how you’ll tell the story of your brand. It identifies the 5 W’s of your marketing strategy: the who (target audience), what (branding and creative), when and where (media planning) and why (research and overall strategy). But unlike news that’s printed and quickly becomes history, your marcom plan is a living document, adapting to the needs of your brand and the factors in flux around it.

by: Micah Aberson

One-on-One with Sean FitzGerald, Vice President of Engineering/CTO, Visual Numerics, Inc.

Dashboard Insight recently spoke with Sean FitzGerald, Vice President of Engineering/CTO of Visual Numerics about his company's lengthy history, his definition of embedded analytics and how customers have been using his analytical tools in recent years.

by: Karly Gaffney - Dashboard Insight

Embedding Analytics Into Dashboards

Organizations embedding analytics into applications typically follow a process of first creating a prototype model, then incorporating that model into a production application. In the prototyping stage, modelers explore data and work with different algorithms to determine the best way to answer a question or gather insight from the data. In a production deployment, a developer will move the model into the dashboard where it can be leveraged by multiple users. If you are creating advanced analytic components for dashboard applications, you should expect to follow the same process.

by: Steve Lang, Visual Numerics

Real-Life Predictive Analytics

Data mining and business intelligence (BI) are like our universe—they are constantly expanding by the minute. New models and techniques in BI keep evolving and maturing on a seemingly endless continuum, as best practices in technology and business practices drive innovation and better business alignment. Entrenched in the universe of recent knowledge-management innovations, predictive analytics promises some of the most attractive returns currently associated with BI.

by: William Laurent, William Laurent, Inc.

Analytics Versus Performance Management, Does Anyone Know the Difference?

When you integrate various performance management methodologies (such as customer relationship management and rolling financial forecasts) and imbed each of them with analytics, one can quickly evaluate the impact of changes. When using forecasting, one can look at what-if scenarios and also perform trade-off analysis. An application of forecasting could include evaluating various marketing campaigns. Another one could include estimating the impact on sales from offering differentiated sales service-levels to different types of customers. These types of analysis are forward-looking examining the future, not the past.

by: Gary Cokins- SAS

One-on-One with Paul Challinor - Senior Product Manager for Business Analytics, Exact Software

Dashboard Insight recently spoke with Exact Software's Paul Challinor about analytics solutions, the delivery of business intelligence and how to help businesses address the current economic downturn.

by: Karly Gaffney - Dashboard Insight

Predictive Workforce Analytics for Critical Times

Worldwide, businesses are in critical times. The impact of the financial tornado that touched ground with fury in the U.S. in late 2008 is one that is now felt worldwide. Organizations that survived the initial hit were besieged with rampant layoffs and organizational restructuring --worsening human capital issues including the impending retirement of baby boomers, their post-internet “replacements” and the worldwide skill shortage. Managers struggle to maintain performance levels with fewer workers – increase their productivity and optimize workforce skills. But where do they start?

by: Becca Goren - SAS

Graphics and Predictive Models for BI

About five years ago, I went on a sales call that didn’t work out too well. The customer, a large direct marketer, was looking for someone to audit its propensity-to-buy program, and invited several consulting vendors in to review the company’s analytics platform. The talks progressed well as we discussed data integration, database, and query/reporting. But when the focus turned to statistical modeling, I made the mistake of asking to see what they did for graphics and visualization of the data that comprised their propensity models. I was interested in both exploratory visualization, much like I’ve written about in other DI articles, and also diagnostic graphics that offer evidence on the validity of the fitted models.

by: Steve Miller - OPenBI

One-on-One with Bob Abernethy, SVP & GM of Strategy Companion Corporation

Dashboard Insight recently spoke with Strategy Companion’s Bob Abernethy about their Analyzer solution and Pervasive BI pricing model - as well as what he thinks about legacy BI products and obstacles to BI adoption.

by: Karly Gaffney, Dashboard Insight

Dashboard Insight will be adding Business Analytics: Predictive and Beyond articles all month.

Please check back often.

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