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Predictive Analytics: Looking into the future
The modern oracles of our networked digital age are Big Data and data analytics. Data gatherers such as Google and Amazon survey the world, create personality profiles and comb through huge volumes of data at lightning speed for patterns and correlations, allowing them to make predictions in real time. They provide a targeted look into the crystal ball. States, research institutions and commercial companies hope that they can provide accurate predictions to minimise the risk of their own actions and to better assess the opportunities for future activities. It is also about making structured use of the knowledge in organisations. Overall, around 3.2 billion people use the Internet, producing permanent data through their mobile phones, fitness bands, smart watches, networked navigation units and cars. Online sellers know our secret desires better than we do ourselves. Political attitudes can be accurately ascertained from Twitter messages. Data and algorithms enable potential crimes to be anticipated before they are even planned or committed.
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