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       when someone will change the insurer. The supermarket  However,  to  be  able  to  make  forecasts  of  future
       chain Target allegedly  analyzes  the surfing  behavior  of  developments  in  the  company,  reliable  data  on
       female customers to find out if they are pregnant, so that  probability  of  occurrence  and  risk  distribution  are
       they might be able to supply things like diapers or baby  required.  Only  then,  reliable  scenario  calculations  can
       food.  Life  insurance  companies  supposedly  found  out  get  compiled  and  decisions  made  on  the  given,  solid
       that  people  who  retire  early  usually  die  earlier,  and  database.  Unfortunately,  financial  planning  (profit  and
       airlines know that vegans miss their flights less often. In  loss  account,  balance  sheet,  and  cash  flow)  and
       human  resources,  predictive  analysis  is  often  used  to  operational planning (sales, production, personnel) are
       determine whether employees consider quitting their job.  in most companies often kept separate, which can lead
       So, the art of predicting the future isn’t really an art, but  to different expectations and significant loss of time.
       the result of careful evaluation and proper interpretation
       of huge amounts of data.                            Clearly, it is faster and much more efficient to link the
                                                           business  model  directly  with  predictive  analytics  as  it
       Without asking any question                         results in better predictions and clarifies the impact on
                                                           business operations. Once that is done, the next logical
       A typical online experience you are familiar with is when  step is self-evident, namely the automation of business
       you  look  at  certain  content  and  the  site  recommends  decisions,  which  brings  us  to  "prescriptive  analytics"
       more  content  that  other  people  have  viewed.  In  online  that  can  provide  answers  for  price  optimization,  but
       commerce,  these  recommended  products  can  even  be  also  the  fine-tuning  of  the  marketing  mix  or  fund
       tracked  on  other  sites,  thanks  to  AdWords.  In  other  management.
       areas,  these  recommendations  are  highlighted  even
       more subtle and sometimes unnoticed by simply placing  Wherever  time-critical  decisions  have  to  be  made,
       these items further up the page. What happens here is  analytics come in handy,  since they manage to act  in
       that  a  website  uses  a  so-called  "recommendation  fractions  of  a  second.  Analytics  systems  can  provide
       engine," a system that constantly learns from purchases  timely  recommendations  for  action,  which  are  then
       and page views of previous visitors. This knowledge will  discussed in management - and ultimately decided by
       be used in the next step to propose the next product that  people  -  saving  precious  time  that’s  literally  worth  a
       you are likely to be interested in, provided you follow the  fortune of money. ◊
       patterns  of  the  other  customers.  The  proposal  is  then
       your "best next offer" and the technique, used to figure                         By Daniela La Marca
       this  out  based  on  your  transactions,  is  often  called
       "collaborative filtering".

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