What’s predictive analysis, and why should we know something about it? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.
“Well because … you should be seeing dollar signs here. Predictive analytics is one of the biggest booming job fields available. The idea here is not new. Businesses and others have always tried to use data – information, if you will – (and) analyze that information in order to predict the future. Obviously, businesses value that.
“What makes today different is two things: one, the availability of data. We are awash in data. There are data out there on individuals, on communities, obviously on the nation. And it’s coming out faster, so more of it is in real time. The other change is we have the technology now to analyze that data, not only the programs to do it, but the access of those programs. A lot of this data now can be analyzed on someone’s smart phone.
“So the field of analyzing this data, using that data in that analysis to make predictions about buying habits, about changes in business trends, et cetera, that’s a booming field. Colleges and universities now are starting new majors in predictive analytics.
“So if you’re a person … who enjoys numbers, who enjoys puzzles, and enjoys peering in the future, maybe down the road you’d want to move in to predictive analytics.”