This is where predictive analytics come in. Predictive analytics is an advanced data analytics technique that utilizes machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistical and data mining algorithms to process and analyze vast amount of historical data to find patterns and build models that can forecast the likelihood of future outcomes.
Applications of predictive analytics and machine learning in general are virtually endless and they practically touch our life almost every day. When we deposit a check at an ATM machine or with our smart phone, certain machine learning algorithm is trying to decipher and convert handwriting on the check into text via OCR. From facial recognition, voice to text, spam email detection to credit card fraud detection, online shopping product search, Netflix movie recommendations, loan application approval/rejection, and so on just to name a few; predictive analytics is in action. Success stories are abundant in business intelligence applications, scientific discovery, medicine, healthcare, sports, cyber security, machine maintenance, weather forecasting, earthquake prediction, mining, oil and gas exploration, law enforcement…. and on and on. It is fair to say that what we can do with predictive analytics is only limited by our imagination.