Predictive Analysis: How Does it Work?

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses constantly seek innovative ways to gain a competitive edge. One such cutting-edge technique is predictive analysis. This powerful tool has the potential to transform the way businesses make decisions, anticipate trends, and optimize their strategies.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into predictive analysis, exploring its inner workings, benefits, and real-world applications.

What is predictive analysis?

Predictive analysis, often referred to as predictive analytics, is a data-driven approach used to forecast future outcomes based on historical and current data patterns. It leverages a combination of statistical algorithms, machine learning techniques, and data mining to uncover hidden insights and trends within data sets, ultimately enabling organizations to make informed decisions and anticipate future events.

At its core, predictive analysis involves the extraction of meaningful information from large and complex data sets. This information is then used to build models that can predict future outcomes with a reasonable level of accuracy. The process typically begins with data collection and preparation, where relevant data is gathered from various sources and cleaned to ensure its accuracy and reliability. Once the data is ready, it is divided into training and testing sets.

How does predictive analysis work?

Predictive analysis in e-commerce can be used to predict customer churn, which refers to customers who are likely to stop buying from an online store. By analyzing historical data, such as purchase history, browsing behavior, and customer interactions, e-commerce businesses can build predictive models that identify customers at risk of churning.

For instance, let’s say an e-commerce company collects data on customer orders, website visits, and engagement metrics. By using this data, they can develop a predictive model that takes into account factors like the frequency of purchases, time since the last purchase, and the number of products viewed without purchasing. The model might assign a churn probability score to each customer.

With this information, the e-commerce company can take proactive steps to retain potential churned customers. They might send targeted promotions, personalized recommendations, or special offers to these customers to encourage them to continue shopping. By using predictive analysis to anticipate customer churn, the company can effectively allocate resources and tailor their strategies to improve customer retention and overall business performance.

Which software do you use for predictive analysis?

There are a plethora of tools available at your disposal for conducting predictive analysis. Some of the most popular software that brands use include:

1. Alteryx

Alteryx is a self-service data analytics software company that specializes in data preparation and data blending. It allows users to organize, clean, and analyze data in a repeatable workflow. This tool is particularly useful for business analysts to connect to and cleanse data from various sources like data warehouses, cloud applications, and spreadsheets. The platform features tools to run a variety of analytic jobs (predictive, statistical, spatial) within a single interface.

2. AnswerRocket

AnswerRocket offers a search-powered data analytics platform designed for business users. It enables users to ask business questions in natural language, without the need for technical skills to run reports or generate analysis. The platform combines AI and machine learning with advanced analytic functionality. It can automate manual tasks and quickly answer ad hoc questions. AnswerRocket is also mobile-friendly and includes native voice recognition.

3. RapidMiner

RapidMiner is a data science platform that provides tools and capabilities for various data analysis tasks, including data preprocessing, machine learning, predictive analytics, and more. It allows users to build and deploy data-driven solutions without requiring extensive programming knowledge. The platform offers a visual interface that enables users to design data workflows and analytical processes using a drag-and-drop approach.

How do you conduct predictive analysis?

 Here’s a detailed explanation of how to conduct predictive analysis:

1. Identify the problem

The first step is to clearly define the problem you want to solve through predictive analysis. This could be anything from sales forecasting to medical diagnosis. Once the problem is defined, gather relevant data. This data should include both historical information about the target variable (the variable you want to predict) and any other variables that might influence the outcome.

2. Preprocess readily available data

Raw data often contains errors, missing values, outliers, and inconsistencies that can affect the quality of predictions. In this step, clean the data by addressing missing values, removing outliers, and normalizing or standardizing features. Data preprocessing ensures that the data is in a suitable format for analysis.

3. Feature selection

Feature selection involves choosing the most relevant variables that contribute to the prediction. Feature engineering involves creating new features by transforming or combining existing ones to enhance the predictive power of the model. This step requires domain knowledge and understanding of the data.

4. Data splitting

Divide your data into two main subsets: a training set and a testing set. The training set is used to train the predictive model, while the testing set is used to evaluate its performance. This helps prevent overfitting, where the model performs well on the training data but poorly on new, unseen data.

5. Model selection

Choose a suitable predictive modeling technique based on the nature of your problem. Common techniques include linear regression, decision trees, random forests, support vector machines, and neural networks. The choice of model depends on factors such as the data’s characteristics, the complexity of the problem, and the desired interpretability of the results.

6. Model training

Use the training set to train the selected model. The model learns the relationships between the input features and the target variable during this phase. The goal is to minimize the difference between the model’s predictions and the actual target values in the training data.

7. Model evaluation

After training, assess the model’s performance using the testing set. Common evaluation metrics include mean squared error, root mean squared error, accuracy, precision, recall, and F1-score. These metrics quantify how well the model’s predictions match the actual outcomes.

8. Hyperparameter tuning

Many predictive models have hyperparameters that need to be set before training. Hyperparameters control the behavior of the model and affect its performance. Use techniques like grid search or random search to find the optimal combination of hyperparameters that result in the best predictive performance.

9. Model deployment

Once a satisfactory model is obtained, deploy it in a real-world environment to make predictions on new, incoming data. Continuously monitor the model’s performance and update it as needed to ensure its accuracy remains high as the underlying data distribution might change over time.

10. Model interpretation

After deploying the model, interpret its results to gain insights into the factors influencing predictions. Use these insights to make informed decisions or take actions based on the model’s predictions. It’s important to remember that predictive analysis provides probabilities and trends, not certainties.


Predictive analysis is a multifaceted process that involves collecting, preprocessing, modeling, validating, and deploying data to forecast future outcomes. Each component plays a vital role in ensuring the accuracy, reliability, and practical utility of predictive models.

By combining historical data with advanced statistical and machine learning techniques, organizations can gain valuable insights into future trends, behaviors, and events, enabling them to make informed decisions and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries.

Managing the financial health of your company is crucial to its success. If you need any help with expert bookkeeping services, our team is ready to assist you. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch with you shortly.  

Spread the word:

Similar Posts