Predictive Analytics – Book Review


I read Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel thinking it was an introduction to the mechanics of creating and choosing the best predictive models, it is not. This book is an introduction to why to use predictive analytics and some of the processes and challenges of building and deploying models to solve a business problem.
Siegel uses a number of case studies from Chase bank, Netflix, IBM, US Bank and the 2012 Obama Campaign to examine the challenges businesses face and some of the ways predictive models can address the problems they faced. The very readable and conversational tone of the Siegel book make the application of prediction modeling.
The first half of the book looks at the more general implications of predictive modeling, some of the ethical concerns and examine how a little data can go a long way (coined the Data Effect).
All up I found Predictive Analytics a very interesting and engaging read. It gave a fantastic insight into how predictive models have been applied in the real world. While It didn’t cover the actual building of models (like I was expecting) that was noted very early in the book and it did provide web links and book references that cover those topics for further reading.
The fact I managed to read this book in pretty good time (for me at least) illustrates how engaging and useful the topics covered are.
4 stars from me