If you had a crystal ball that would tell you the future, what would you do? I suppose it depends on what you see in that ball. Let’s say you look in the crystal ball and see that you will be in a minor car accident tomorrow. We won’t go into the philosophical debate between predetermined destinies and chance a la Forest Gump, but instead let’s assume that we can change the future with the knowledge the crystal ball provides.

So what do you do with the knowledge of your pending car accident tomorrow? You could just stay in tomorrow and never leave the house. However, since you have to go to work, that’s not an option. Let’s go back to the crystal ball and review the prediction for tomorrow a little closer. Let’s say your crystal ball could show you the events leading up to the accident. As you look closer, you see the cause of the accident was that you were tailgating the car in front of you. Then, suddenly the car stopped and BOOM. Now that you know what will cause the accident, you can use this information to change the outcome. So maybe now you avoid tailgating anyone tomorrow.

The point here is that just knowing the future is not enough. We need to know why. The “why” allows us to prescribe a course of action to change the future.

Predictive analytics is an emerging science. Many organizations are waking up to the power of predictive analytics. However, at OThot, we are raising the bar on predicting the future. We understand that just knowing the future is not enough; you need to understand the “whys”. Say, for example, the analytics model predicts that attendance at your sales conference is going to be lower this year than the previous year. That news could make for a bad sales meeting with the executive committee. However, if you bring to the committee that attendance will be down but also provide an explanation for the decrease in attendance WITH a proposed prescription to correct, you have saved the day.

Fight the future with predictive analytics that can tell you why tomorrow is going to a bad day and use that information to make it a good one! Predict and prescribe by understanding the “whys”.