Plugging Analytics into the Business

Black box algorithms. Test data with test results. Predictions with possibilities only. All of these are reminders of analytics teams that have not yet plugged into the “business.” They appear to be making progress, or at least they are busy, but the results are not tangible. They have not yet created value that can be measured and replicated. Although predictive analytics is a “must” for nearly every business today, there are few companies really putting predictive analytics to work for them.

Why are so many organizations developing predictive capabilities, but haven’t put them to use with their sales, marketing or operations people? Are companies really getting value from statistical predictions? If they are, how are they measuring that value and showing it on their bottom line? If not, what are they doing to close the gap between data science and everyday business.

In this session, we’ll evaluate three areas that are most neglected and hardest to deal with when putting predictive analytics to work and show you how to get your predictions used.

  1. Trust.  Getting the users to trust the prediction of an algorithm is fraught with biases. “That prediction can’t be right because the data is all wrong.” “I don’t believe that customer will default next month; I am best friends with the CIO and I haven’t heard a word. Trusting the outcomes of the predictions is the first barrier to overcome.
  2. Teaching.  Teaching sales and operations people to use the predictions can be your secret to having successful deployments of systems that use your predictions. Helping users understand the context around the predictions is essential.
  3. Technology.  Automation and self-service are the keys to use of predictive analytics. It must be easy. It must produce results. IT is the it!

Presenter: Theresa Kushner, Business Data Leadership

Theresa Kushner, partner in Business Data Leadership, comes with over 20 years of experience in deploying predictive analytics at IBM, Cisco, VMware and Dell.  She has co-authored two books: Managing Your Business Data from Chaos to Confidence with Maria Villar and B2B Data Driven Marketing: Sources, Uses, Results with Ruth Stevens.