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Exploring the Shift from Descriptive Analytics to Predictive Analytics as a Service.

Exploring the Shift from Descriptive Analytics to Predictive Analytics as a Service

In the past several years, there’s been a notable shift from descriptive analytics to predictive analytics. We love to see this, but why? Let’s start by getting back to basics and defining the two.

When you’re using descriptive analytics, you’re using historic data to understand changes that have occurred over time. This could be footfall data between two dates, or perhaps sales figures across several regional areas. This is by far the most traditional method of analytics, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors, so you’ll certainly already be familiar with it. Of course, it’s possible to make performance and trend-based decisions based on this data, but is that what we recommend? You guessed it, we prefer predictive analytics.

Well, the clue really is in the name. Predictive analytics is the use of modelling techniques to make predictions about future performance. It will often draw upon newer technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining. Predictive analytics models can help to foresee future action based on past trends and projected data, which is incredibly useful in industries where factors such as regional pricing, seasonal performance and customer sentiment are so crucial.

At this moment in time, you’ll have absolutely no trouble finding a data provider willing to partner with you on your next product. The descriptive analytics industry is awash with providers. Or perhaps the data provider industry is awash with descriptive analytics. Either way, much of what we are doing at Predyktable is offering an antidote for the older, more traditional methods of yesteryear.

We strongly believe that predictive analytics is a far more effective data source than descriptive, and will give you immeasurably more insight than you’re used to. But the switch isn’t quite that simple, and there are some caveats that you need to watch out for, which we’ll discuss next.

Whilst there is a clear difference between descriptive and predictive, the data provider landscape isn’t quite so black and white. Traditional data providers do offer predictive analytics, but not as a service. What do we mean by that? Much like SaaS (software as a service), we also have PAaaS (predictive analysis as a service), which in many ways perfectly describes our business model. We deliver predictive analytics as a full service, whereas a traditional data provider may just offer it as a bolt-on and a one-off piece of work.

At the risk of sounding a little biased and self-confident here, who would you rather trust? A business who has shaped their entire business model on predictive analytics, or a traditional provider who deals in descriptive analytics, and the fancy future stuff chucked on the side as an extra?

What does Predictive Analytics as a Service look like?

PAaaS continues where others end. When we started Predyktable, this is where we knew we wanted to be different – a partner for life, not a one-hit wonder. In fact, part five of our Predyktable Process talks about our ongoing support, which you can read more about here. 

Benefits of PAaaS from Predyktable:

  • Support around your organisation’s change management 
  • A dedicated customer success team invested in you and your objectives
  • The continual application of data, which adds value and retains relevance 
  • Data Scientists who regularly strive for new and exciting insights
  • Continual performance monitoring and maintenance 

The missing piece here, and the problem we solve with Predyktable, is marrying AI and ML (machine learning) with a service that makes it understandable and usable. AI and ML alone fail due to their complexity and therefore lack of adoption.

At Predyktable, we aim to close that gap. We believe that with the right people, the right platform and the right process, predictive analytics should be accessible, informative and even transformative.

That’s our vision of the future. If you’d like to be a part of it, get in touch. We’d love to hear how we can help your retail or hospitality organisation get a clearer view of what’s next.