July 19, 2024

Keith Cornick

Honest Finances

Predictive Analytics for Dummies. Can You Use Predictive Analytics Even If You’re Lazy

Predictive Analytics for Dummies. Can You Use Predictive Analytics Even If You’re Lazy


Predictive analytics is a form of data mining that allows you to predict future events based on past data. While it does require some technical know-how and resources, most of the hard work can be automated for you by an algorithm. But how accurate are these algorithms? And what exactly are we trying to do with them? In this article I’ll explain everything from the basic concepts of predictive analytics (and why they’re important) all the way through some practical applications that will help you get started using predictive analytics in your own life.

Predictive Analytics for Dummies. Can You Use Predictive Analytics Even If You’re Lazy

Introduction to Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is a process that uses historical data to predict future outcomes. It’s different from traditional analytics, which focuses on analyzing past events and making decisions based on those results. Predictive analytics uses advanced statistical techniques to create models and make predictions about future events based on historical data.

Predictive modeling works by using algorithms to find patterns in large amounts of data that you can use to make predictions about future events or trends. For example, if you want to know who will buy your product next month, predictive modeling can help identify likely buyers based on their purchasing habits and demographics (age range, gender). You might then use this information for sales targeting or marketing campaigns aimed at specific groups within the larger population of potential customers

What is a predictive model?

A predictive model is a mathematical equation that takes known data and uses it to predict future outcomes. For example, if you have a model that predicts the likelihood of a person buying a particular product based on their age, income level and location, then you can use this model to determine which people are most likely to buy your product.

The term “predictive analytics” is used broadly to describe any type of analysis that involves predicting future events or trends by analyzing historical data. There are many different types of predictive analytics:

  • Business Intelligence (BI) – BI helps businesses make better decisions by providing them with insights into their customers’ behavior patterns through reports and dashboards generated from large amounts of structured or unstructured data stored in relational databases such as SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). BI tools include SSRS itself as well as QlikView; Tableau Software; MicroStrategy; Power BI Desktop/Server (previously called Power Pivot); SAP Lumira; Microsoft Excel 2016+ with Analysis ToolPak enabled

How does predictive analytics work?

Let’s start with a definition: What is predictive analytics?

Predictive models are computer programs that use data to make predictions about future events. A data model, on the other hand, is simply a representation of your business or application’s data. And statistical models use statistical techniques to analyze data sets and draw conclusions about them (e.g., how likely it is that two people will become friends). So what’s so special about predictive analytics compared with these other types of modeling?

It depends on what kind of problem you’re trying to solve! If your goal is just getting better at understanding what happened in the past–and not necessarily knowing what might happen next–then maybe nothing too special happens here; this would be more like using traditional statistics than anything else (although there may still be room for improvement). But if you have some kind of prediction problem where you need help figuring out what might happen next based on past observations…then yes: Predictive Analytics Is For You!

Accuracy of Predictive Analytics

The accuracy of the predictive analytics algorithms you use depends on how well they’ve been trained. If you’re using a machine learning algorithm, it will be working with data from past experiences to make predictions about future events. The more data you have and the better your model is trained, the better your results will be–and vice versa.

To get started with predictive analytics:

  • Find out what kind of problem you want to solve with predictive modeling by asking yourself some questions about what information is available and where it comes from (i.e., “What do I know?”). For example: “How many customers are likely to buy something at my store next week?” or “What factors affect whether someone will default on their loan?”

How accurate are these algorithms really?

The accuracy of an algorithm depends on the data it was trained on, and the more data you have, the better. For example, if you’re trying to predict whether someone is going to buy your product or not based on their purchase history, then having more purchases will make your predictions more accurate.

On top of that, there is also a difference between classification algorithms (predicting categories) and regression algorithms (predicting continuous values). Classification algorithms are much easier to train than regression ones because they don’t require as much data since they only need enough instances of each category that can be used for training purposes so that when given new instances from unknown categories they will be able to classify them correctly most of time instead just predicting 0 or 1 values like in case with binary classifiers where we would simply say “yes” or “no” without any real understanding behind why one person did buy something while another didn’t – both might fall into same category but still end up having different buying patterns due various factors such as personal preferences etc..

How can you use predictive analytics to your advantage?

  • Improve customer satisfaction. Predictive analytics helps you understand how customers are interacting with your product or service, so you can tailor it to their needs. This can help increase repeat purchases and customer referrals, which in turn will lead to more revenue for your business.
  • Improve customer retention. Similar to improving customer satisfaction, predictive analysis also helps you identify the best way for customers who have stopped using a product or service because they were unsatisfied with it–or just didn’t want it anymore–to come back into the fold again by figuring out why they left in the first place and making changes based on those findings (or even before they leave).
  • Improve product development/design process: By analyzing data on how people buy products online (or off), what features they look for when shopping around for something new like insurance coverage versus life insurance policies vs term plans vs whole life plans etc., companies can use this information as part of their research when designing new products that might appeal more strongly than others do now since everyone else seems stuck on outdated modes from decades ago when technology wasn’t nearly as advanced as today’s world has become over time.”

Although creating your own predictive model might be more difficult than you think, there are still plenty of ways in which you can take advantage of the technology.

Even if you don’t want to create your own predictive model, there are still plenty of ways in which you can take advantage of the technology. For example:

  • You can use it to make better decisions. Predictive analytics is a powerful tool that can help businesses make better decisions by providing them with information about their customers’ behavior and preferences. The data collected from predictive models helps companies understand their customers better so they can provide more relevant products or services based on what those consumers really want.
  • You can use it to make better products/services/marketing campaigns/customer service etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum!


In the end, predictive analytics is a powerful tool that can be used to your advantage. Although creating your own predictive model might be more difficult than you think, there are still plenty of ways in which you can take advantage of the technology. Predictive analytics will continue to grow as an industry and become more prevalent in our everyday lives; it’s up to us humans whether or not we want to take advantage of what these algorithms have to offer!