In an age of demanding customer expectations and increasingly aggressive competitors, organizations are rapidly moving from reliance on business intelligence (BI) tools that provide a snapshot of the past to those that provide an accurate picture of the present and a prediction of future trends. This branch of data mining known as predictive analytics is the latest front in the battle for the advancement of BI tool capabilities, as customers demand not only an understanding of what happened in the past, and why, but also want to be able to accurately predict what is going to happen in the future. The central element of predictive analytics is the predictor, a variable that can be measured to predict future behavior. Businesses that rely on predictive modeling follow a process that involves collecting data, developing a statistical model, and then making predictions, which enable validation or revision of the model.
Predictive Analytics Demands
a New Approach
The value of predictive analytics is substantial and can be measured in terms of competitive advantage, significant cost savings, and greater revenues. Yet the very large data sets often required (sometimes hundreds of terabytes of raw data) and the query-intensive and predictive-scoring workloads and models involved, place additional pressures on information technology infrastructures.
Earlier solutions for data modeling encompassed a relational database designed to support business transactions, not analytics; and a data model tool that had limitations of the amount of data it could support — resulting in poor data accuracy and timeless of results.
Sybase IQ is a column-based analytics server that is purpose-built for predictive analytics. Analytical queries, by nature, involve only certain attributes. Sybase IQ stores and retrieves attributes by columns, rather than by rows. Since each column is stored separately, the data it contains becomes its own index. This combination results in up to 70% data compression, allowing more data to be analyzed in the models for better accuracy and speed.
KXEN’S INFINITEINSIGHT™ AND SYBASE® IQ FEATURES & BENEFITS AT A GLANCE • Ensure greater accuracy of
predictive models by using thousands of variables and full datasets
• Achieve performance gains of 10–1000X via in-database analytics and query optimizer • Obtain superior price/
performance through extreme columnar data compression and associated physical storage cost savings
• Automate predictive models through KXEN’s InfiniteInsight™ with built-in support for in-database analytics • Realize time-to-value with
KXEN’S INFINITEINSIGHT™, THE PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS LEADER
KXEN is revolutionizing the way companies use predictive analytics to make better decisions. Based on patented innovations, the company’s flagship product InfiniteInsight™ delivers orders of magnitude improvements in speed and agility to optimize every step in the customer lifecycle — including acquisition, cross-sell, up-sell, retention and “next
best activity”. Sybase IQ provides a solid foundation for predictive analytics, but models and visualization techniques are
needed to extract value from massive amounts of live and historical data. KXEN's InfiniteInsight™ utilizes Sybase IQ In-Database Analytics Option to provide an extensive library of built-in numerical, statistical and predictive analytics functions, so that query results can be immediately analyzed within the Sybase IQ analytics server. Together, they produce query speeds on large data sets up to 100 or even 1,000 faster than traditional relational-based solutions and earlier data mining systems.
Predictive analytics also demands handling up-to-the-minute live data interactions, which can be found in blogs and social media sites. By analyzing data as it is occurring, companies optimize business processes based on real-time intelligence, and make offers— typically online — when users are likely to be most interested.
The in-memory Event Stream Processing (ESP) solution from Sybase derives intelligence from events as they are happening by monitoring data coming in live. By providing the ‘brains’ to absorb, aggregate, correlate, and analyze events, Sybase ESP can trigger an alert or an appropriate response to business-critical events, while also providing high-level information on the current state of the business.
Sybase Analytics in the Data Center
Servers Near Real-TimeUpdates
Sybase IQ Ops Data Historical Data Processing within Sec/Min/Hours ETL Stream Data Memory Disk
EVENT STREAM PROCESSING
IQ Alerts Actions Processing within Millisecs Stream Data Low Latency
Predictive Analytics Architecture
Communications • Customer Acquisition • Cross-Sell and Up-Sell • Churn and Rotational Churn • Multi-Sim analysis • Next Best Activity • Social Network Analysis • Fraud
Financial Services • Customer Acquisition • Retention and Churn • Next Best Activity • Credit Scoring and Risk • Fraud
Healthcare • Customer Care
• Pre-emptive Levels of Care Retail
• Acquisition • Cross-Sell and Up-Sell • Retention
• Customer Segmentation • Product Recommendation • Market Basket Analysis Figure 1. Unique real-time analytics architecture combines speed + depth of analysis
SYBASE IQ: THE RIGHT FOUNDATION FOR PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS
Sybase IQ infuses organizations with fast, flexible access to information and analytics. With Sybase IQ, you can predict customer trends, forecast supply chain inventories more accurately, detect and prevent fraud, and optimize marketing results — in ways never before possible. The economics of Sybase IQ put a faster, more efficient, cost-effective predictive analytics system will within reach.
KXEN AND SYBASE, REVOLUTIONIZING PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS
KXEN is cited as a ‘leader’ in its sector in the Forrester Wave™: Predictive Analytics & Data Mining Solutions, Q1 2010 report, published on February 4th, 2010. The independent research company’s first assessment of nine global movers and shakers in predictive analytics and data mining (PA/DM), stated that “KXEN [is] at the forefront of the convergence of PA/DM, content analytics and social network analysis for Web 2.0 environments.” Forrester’s Jim Kobielus writes in the report that “KXEN offers strong usability within a feature-rich PA/DM portfolio. With sophisticated PA/DM features and thorough integration of wizard-driven automation, KXEN positions its PA/DM tools as key enablers for maximum productivity by data mining specialists and business analysts alike.”
KXEN utilizes the Sybase IQ In-Database Analytics Option to deliver a robust set of technologies that follow a process that involves collecting data, developing a statistical model, and then making accurate predictions. These advanced technologies are helping 100’s of customers in financial services, communications, healthcare and retail for customer acquisition, retention and churn, and determining the “next best activity”.
MODELING’S FIRST-EVER SEMANTIC LAYER
Before building a predictive model, the first step is to prepare and transform data into a format that Sybase IQ can process. In the past with other data mining techniques, this took upwards of 40% to 50% of the time spent on any project. To make matters worse, it was repeated every time the predictive model was created. To eliminate this bottleneck, KXEN introduced predictive analytics’ first-ever semantic layer. It’s called InfiniteInsight™ Explorer, and it’s similar to the semantic layer introduced in the early 90’s by business intelligence companies to unblock the reporting bottleneck.
ACCURATE MODELS, IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS
Figure 2. In a matter of minutes, InfiniteInsight™ Modeler can sift through thousands of input variables and present which ones have the most influence on your predictive model. InfiniteInsight™ Modeler cuts the guesswork out of two major steps in the modeling process: variable creation and variable reduction. And since it’s fast and automated, you can include data elements that may not be intuitively obvious at the outset. This translates into more accurate and robust predictive models, especially when your data is changing rapidly.
KXEN’s patented InfiniteInsight™ Modeler automates the building of sophisticated predictive models for most every data mining function and includes detailed business and executive summary reports.
PUT SCORES INTO ACTION
InfiniteInsight™ was built from the ground up to be deployed in real operational environments ranging from historical data to legacy analytical tools and even local files. And there’s no manual processes requiring macros, crazy scripts, data extracts or loading routines. With clicks, not code, InfiniteInsight™ Scorer can deploy optimized scoring equations right into the Sybase IQ analytics database.
“WITH INFINITEINSIGHT™, WE’VE INCREASED PRODUCTS PER HOUSEHOLD BY 14%.” – SEYMOUR DOUGLAS, PH.D., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ANALYTICS, COX
“FOR USERS, THE SIMPLICITY OF INFINITEINSIGHT™ IS OF PARTICULAR SIGNIFICANCE.” – VERENA MEUTHER,
EVERY MODEL AT PEAK PERFORMANCE
With traditional predictive methods, it’s impossible to optimize great numbers of campaigns, because they become overly granular in targeting, or to retrain models on a regular basis. It’s simply takes too long and competes with other business priorities.
InfiniteInsight™ Factory has eliminated limits. It’s industrialized modeling with a factory approach so that you can build, deploy and improve any number of predictive models.
THE SHAPE OF YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK
It’s no assumption that people socialize into groups. By using business data, we can learn about the links between our customers and just as importantly, which customers have a strong social influence. We can use this insight to create a competitive advantage.
Figure 3. Social Graphic: Example of a Social Graph depicted through KXEN’s InfiniteInsight™. Dots represent communities (dense groups) of customers. The bigger the community is, the bigger the size. Communities where groups of customers have an iPhone® (iPhone community) is in red. It is interesting to observe how close are such iPhone communities, probably due to a partially viral adoption of the device. Further tests were made to prove that the iPhone adoption was correlated at user level and at community level.
THE BENEFITS OF PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS
• Better understanding of customer behavior propels better decisions • Profitable customers can be
spotted fast and served accordingly • Generate more business by
reaching hidden markets • Target your marketing message
• Helps in minimizing risk and improves ROI
• Improve profitability by detecting abnormal patterns in sales, claims, and transactions
• Improved customer service and confidence
Synthesizing massive amounts of historical data as well as up-to-the-minute live data interactions to determine the “next best offer” or predictor is a difficult task that companies need to tackle if they want to meet their business objectives, which center around competitive advantage, cost savings, and greater revenues. The right analytics architecture will play a pivotal role in the success of predictive analytics, not only providing them with real-time intelligence, but also helping them to maximize their revenue potential during short windows of opportunities.
Sybase IQ and Sybase ESP infuse organizations with fast, flexible access to information. Coupled with KXEN’s InfiniteInsight™, customers can optimize every step in the customer lifecycle — including cross-sell, up-sell, retention and “next best activity”.
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