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Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,445 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
"The Freakonomics of big data."
Stein Kretsinger, founding executive of; former lead analyst at Capital One

This book is easily understood by all readers. Rather than a "how to" for hands-on techies, the book entices lay-readers and experts alike by covering new case studies and the latest state-of-the-art techniques.

You have been predicted — by companies, g
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by John Wiley & Sons (first published February 5th 2013)
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Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, futurology
"Predictive Analytics" is a summary of the state of the art in using computer models to predict individuals actions. I work in the industry and have developed predictive financial models. This book isn't aimed at people like me, at least not ones looking for a more technical, how-to explanation. Instead, this is more a survey of the field, including plentiful real-world examples and some high-level definitions. The definitions of lift, ensemble modeling, and uplift modeling I found new and inter ...more
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wish I could have predicted how much I would dislike this book. After reading just one chapter of Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise this book comes across as amateurish. Too much noise, not enough signal.
Sep 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Not thoughtfully written and shallowly propagandistic. It joins so much hype and adds little to the brimming pot. The last couple of chapters are more digestible, but still doesn't do much beyond illuminating the very basics of PA. Here's a bit of my review for book club:

I’ll start with positives: Love the suggestion that marketing departments that manufacture quasi-medical data should have to deal with it in a substantive way. That is a solution I haven’t heard proposed yet, but what if HIPAA,
Paul DeBusschere
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book is extremely introductory, which accounts for Siegel's 50,000-foot view of the topic. Yet, I came away feeling there could have been more details on the "how" of predictive analytics without destroying the book's aim of being an overview.

Rather than droning on about IBM's Watson, I thought Siegel could have spent a little more time explaining the logic behind building decision trees and preparing the training data. Instead, we get about 100 pages of fluff out of a 217-page text. A typ
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Having no previous knowledge of predictive analytics, I was a little afraid this book might leave me bewildered. How wrong I was! My eyes were opened, my interest caught and held throughout this fascinating book.

There are many questions that come to mind when reading this book, but as you read on they are all very effectively answered by the author.

Predictive analytics are rooted in everyone’s daily lives and can have a substantial effect on their future actio
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Okay at best. He clearly knows his stuff and has great experience to talk about. He also chooses interesting examples of predictive modeling that he hasn't worked on. But his style is self-absorbed and immature. If you are in the business, you will get something out of reading his book, but you probably won't enjoy it.
Frank Doosey
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Having taken (and taught) persuasion courses in college, it was very interesting to see how far the field has come and how openly it has embraced technology. PA is a much larger field than I had imagined. Its uses, for both good AND evil, offer a lot of insight on ourselves and others, and how we unwittingly give ourselves away more than we think.
Toka Western
Jun 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
000 stars! what horrifying writing, the middle school me wrote better essays than this guy. I couldn't go pass 8% of this book before quiting. why can't he just stay on point and rationally dissect each point one by one instead of floating all over the place and being lost in his long winded sentences. Dude, maybe you need a crash course in writing in tue social sciences.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a painfully badly written book with very layman explanation of the subject. I scanned through first 150 pages reading the same very examples mentioned by lots of other authors. Only 20 pages of this book were worth reading (and still were extremely difficult to consume). And if you're really interested in PA – use your time on Udacity courses – you'll get much more!

I would not recommend this book – mostly, it's a waste of your time.
Nina Duong
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Provides a high level overview of the possibilities of predictive analytics. As someone aspiring to be able to do this type of work, I will definitely be accessing the resources provided throughout the book to obtain more specifics.
Shawn Buckle
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
As more and more companies try to harness the power of 'Big Data' - the latest business buzz word - books like Siegel's are helpful to get a grasp on just what it is. This book is less 'how to' than an attempt to explain what it is, and how it can work for you, with the latter point venturing a bit too close to hucksterism at times (hey, it is Siegel's field). Siegel does a good job explaining how valuable data is and convinces us that with smart, predictive modeling, data can change how we mark ...more
Caroline Caldwell
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a good overview of the way machine learning is used to improve decision making across a wide range of disciplines from medical, marketing, and politics. It is written in choppy sequences that are separated by quotes, some of the quotes are actually just songs that the author made up. The intended audience of the book is not scientist level. But as an introduction to the field it is very good, and I could see how the methods I know could be used to make these models, even though the auth ...more
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
This book was full of great examples and was written in a humorous and approachable way. I am somewhat confused by the reviews that say The Signal and The Noise by Nate Silver was better - I found that book desperately in need of an editor. The focus of The Signal and the Noise was also broader, explaining basic statistics, correlation vs. causation, etc. Predictive Analytics was a focused book filled with examples of PA being used successfully.

The cover art is awful and the font size a bit too
Hourann Bosci
Jul 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The content is actually a good, high-level, non-technical overview of the field and the ways data can be used in business.

But the writing. Oh goodness, the writing. So many paragraphs feel like the work of a high-schooler just out of "essays 101". Chapters begin with word clouds and quotes (which normally make me shy from a book), and some of those quotes are from the author! I had to force myself to make it to the end.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Lots of filler. This probably could have been condensed to 50 pages or less. I was expecting the book to be a little more technical, or to get into any kind of detail on HOW to conduct predictive analytics (PA). Instead, the author presented multiple examples of how PA has been used or could be used to predict business outcomes. I probably would have liked the book more if I had absolutely no knowledge of the subject area.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
A rather interesting book that outlines different prediction methods, but he never gets into the mathematical aspect of predictive analytics. Overall it's a great book for beginners getting into the field and contains ample amounts of information regarding predictions. It also gets into what predictive analytics is being used for today and by what types of companies. It was a rather enlightening read on the subject.
Eka Aulia
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: analytics
It's an easy reading book for quite heavy topic. Even though most of the topics are not new to me but at least it taught me how to explain predictive analytics in easy term.

One thing that I learn most is the last chapter about uplift modeling: not predicting the response, but only focusing those who can be influence through contact.

Overall, it's a recommended book for business leaders who wants to double or triple their ROE using analytics.
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-cash
You've probably heard the story of a Target store figuring out a teenager was pregnant before her family did, and you may have seen Watson beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy. You may even have some knowledge of A/B testing. This book not only explains how these work -- without getting technical, but with conceptual clarity -- but shows a vast array of related applications.
David Fitzpatrick
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Siegel's jokey and friendly tone help make this a simple "beginners guide" to PA. by breaking down the often complicated concepts with colloquial language and providing real-life case studies, it becomes an easier read than it should be a good crash course in the basic applications and tenants of predictive analytics.
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a nice, entertaining book that gives someone an overview about what big data analytics are and how they can be used. it is written so that a novice can understand. I enjoyed the quirky quotes and the various case studies. That said, this book will not help someone who wants to delve deeper into how to actually create these algorithms.
TIn Aung Lin
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Been through a journey and success stories of predictive models of some famous Corporation. Got this instinct that we can save million bucks if we could do something more wiser which seems quiet small compared to the business operation.
Justin Cole
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As someone new to machine learning and predictive analytics, this book was a fantastic and accessible overview of all of the major concepts in PA - decision trees, uplift modeling, and the ensemble effect. This is a great read for anyone potentially interested in this emerging field!
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: data-analytics
Excellent intro into the world of Predictive Analytics - the art and science of using data to learn from individual characteristics, build predictive models, score each element and drive better decisions.

Must read for all in business - data analyst or otherwise.
Andreas Jungherr
Low signal to noise ratio. Still, a basic introduction to the practical applications of predictive analytics, machine learning and data mining.
Ernst Hafen
Jul 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-finished
Terrible narrator of the audio book version and too wordy and self indulgent. Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is much much better.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing introduction to the world of Big Data and predictive analytics. I didn't have much knowledge/experience previously, but this book provoked interest in me.
Dec 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is a very superficial overview of the topic of predictive Analytics. Your time is probably better spent researching the topic online.
Chris Volzer
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good read if you're interested in learning about how analytics can/has been applied in practice. Very quick and easy to get through.
Kevin R.
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Most books on topics such as this tell you why it is cool but not how it is done. This book tells you how and why it is done. Well done.
Amy Waninger
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great intro for normal humans, very well-written and engaging.
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“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen. —Earl Wilson” 2 likes
“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell” 1 likes
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