Predictive analytics is the practice of looking for patterns within systematically compiled data in order to anticipate behaviors and trends.
Predictive analytics in the business setting is used to help sales and marketing teams build models and ideal customer profiles as well as provide information to both teams which can be used to increase sales, retain profitable customers and help to understand which customers aren’t an ideal fit for your company to target.
Why do Predictive Analytics Matter for Businesses?
Marketing and sales professionals have traditionally placed customers in the sales pipeline largely based on a defined set of behaviors and buying patterns. With predictive analytics, the process is more accurate and more efficient. You are able to look at patterns on a larger scale, which allows your sales and marketing teams to make more informed business decisions.
Predictive analytics can be used to for many purposes in a business setting including:
- To detect patterns from customers
- More efficient and effective customer targeting
- Predicting customer behavior
- Aid in strategic decision making
- To provide a deeper look at the mindset of customers
How It Works
Machine learning is the backbone of predictive analytics. This is a form of data mining that relies on algorithms to detect patterns without human intervention. There are two main ways to leverage machine learning and the power of predictive analytics.
The first is predictive scoring. This is a method that predicts future customer behavior by analyzing historical data. This reduces the margin of human error and increases the quality of leads while also improving sales and marketing alignment.
The second method is predictive audience. This is a method of grouping customers or potential customers together by score, which allows end users to create audiences that can be segmented. This allows you to help better predict which customers are going to convert as well as showing when it is ideal to reach out to a customer.
While nobody can actually predict the future, there are some clear trends in the predictive analytics market that are driven by the recent acquisitions that Salesforce has made in the market.
Salesforce has an estimated 3.75 million users on their platforms. They have more business per user data than almost any other company in the world. This incredible amount of data allows for better machine learning by predictive analytics software.
To learn more about what’s trends lie ahead for predictive analytics, check out the comprehensive infographic created by Soliant Consulting.