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6 practical predictive analytics tools

John Brandon | May 31, 2013
Most analytics tools put data in an historical context. That's all well and good, but if what if you want to use past data to gauge future performance? That narrows your analytics options. These six tools will help you make practical use of your data in order to make business decisions.

Experts have, ahem, predicted the rise of predictive analytics for years. The concept sounds simple: Analyze existing data stores to make a variety of predictions, such as where you might need more storage or how to keep customers at your ecommerce site and increase revenue.

Many tools promise to make predictions but, in reality, tend to do more of a historical analysis of data. The following six tools have a tighter focus: They use predictive technology in a tangible, practical way and, compared to other analytics tools, possess a "wow" factor that puts them over the edge.

SalesPRISM: Generate Leads From Customer Data
Why It's Innovative: Predicts potential sales leads based on data you already have.

Sometimes, the data you've already collected about customers is a treasure trove that can help you find new customers. That's the idea behind SalesPRISM, a customer pattern-recognition tool from Lattice.

To predict potential sales leads, SalesPRISM looks at many factors such as CRM data, site traffic and sales history along with external data that analyzes LinkedIn activity and even LexisNexis reports. This big data analysis generates leads for the sales team, along with specific guidance on how to approach customers based on past success.

Terracotta In-Genius: Work Faster, Not Harder
Why It's Innovative: Speeds up data analysis by moving it into RAM.

Predicting data processing needs in IT often requires a massive speed boost. Terracotta In-Genius is an analytics tool that relies on Terracotta's BigMemory 4.0 platform, which moves data for high-transaction applications out of slower data storage drives and into a stream of distributed RAM. ( Software AG acquired Terracotta in 2011.) For a bank trying to stop credit card fraud, for example, In-Genius can spot patterns of activity within milliseconds and predict attacks.

Medalogix: Healthcare Risk Assessment
Why It's Innovative: Reveals future costs for long-term healthcare needs

For a large healthcare organization, determining the risk of readmitting a patient (and knowing how long that patient will be in hospital care) is a difficult task. Medalogix aims to make this easier by examining patient records and also analyzing past treatment history at specific healthcare facilities. The result is a risk assessment for health professionals: Knowing how many patients will be returning for care after surgery, or knowing which will require longer stays.

The Lorenzi Group: Get Real-Time Results
Why It's Innovative: Drills down into data at the mobile device level.

Many big data systems can examine large data repositories and predict storage faults or anomalies and security risks, but device-specific predictive analytics remains an elusive challenge. ROAR, the Real-time Operations Analytical Results tool from The Lorenzi Group, searches specific tablets, smartphones, desktop computers and other devices for unauthorized access. The tool can see when a user is not following IT practices, such as using USB drives to copy data. It can also predict the risk for the organization, as well as the employee productivity problems that will result from such behavior.

 

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