Tom Davenport, an American author specializing in analytics and business processes, heralds Prescriptive Analytics as “the next competitive battleground for organizations,” and describes it’s users as the “shock troops” of the next wave of business innovation. Prescriptive tools like River Logic, SAS Enterprise, IBM SPSS, SAP Predictive Analytics, the more consumer-facing Excel, and many other programs all seek to extract this new potential from business analytics.
Aside from being a term coined by our Sanskrit brothers at Ayata, just what is Prescriptive Analytics? Jen Underwood of Impact Analytix writes, “Simply put Prescriptive Analytics provides the best options for given situations based on the concepts of optimization.” In the iVEDiX
maturity model, originally referenced in Developing an Innovative Data Strategy
, Prescriptive Analytics falls into the outermost sphere, where companies realize the potential of predictive and prescriptive intelligence, cross-device and unstructured compatibility, and ubiquitous data modeling. Before this year, nobody was talking about Prescriptive Analytics, but now we’re seeing trends peak in interest for the new topic.
This brief video of Jai Menon, IBM CTO, summarizes data from descriptive to prescriptive, and how these new technologies are impacting trends in business intelligence:
So how will this amalgamation of hindsight and foresight affect the future of business?
It already has. And if you’re surprised to hear that companies have been using Prescriptive Analytics for years, you shouldn’t be. According to an excerpt from Prescriptive Analytics: An Introduction, operations management courses in business school usually cover one or more Prescriptive Analytics application tools and techniques.
Here are a couple examples of how Prescriptive Analytics are already being used outside academia:
In reality, Prescriptive Analytics is the payoff that comes from managing Big Data. It presents opportunities to optimize processes, improve performance, and foresee uncertainty.
Is Prescriptive Analytics on the roadmap for your business, or part of your organization?