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Predictive analytics isn’t the future-It’s changing our industry TODAY
It’s a story that’s taken on legendary status in the field of predictive analytics and predictive marketing: Target, after analyzing the buying habits of a teenage girl in Minnesota, sent her mother-to-be product offers in the mail. Her dad called to complain about the coupons targeting a young woman who he said was too young to have a child. Then a week later, he called back… to apologize and admit that his daughter was, in fact, expecting a baby.
At the time, the news made national headlines. Reactions ranged from, “How cool is big data?!” to “Big brother is watching!” — and everything in between. And most people agreed that while it was an interesting story, there was no way that algorithms could truly predict smaller, reactionary human behaviors.
In hindsight, that story can likely be boiled down to Target sending a mass coupon campaign to anyone who purchased a pregnancy test with a debit card in a certain time frame. So while it’s the narrative referenced most often when people discuss predictive analytics, it actually sells predictive analytics short.
That’s because predictive analytics isn’t about drawing a straight line from one behavior (like buying a pregnancy test) to the next (like needing expectant ... more

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