A conversation with Predictive Analytics World's Eric Siegel


Anne Milley: Congratulations on the success of the now two-year-old and growing Predictive Analytics World (PAW) conferences! What's the best way to learn about the conference?

Eric Siegel: Thanks! Well, there are overviews of Predictive Analytics World DC (Oct 19-20) and Predictive Analytics World London (Nov 15-16), but in fact the conference agenda web pages provide the most informative, quick look:

BTW, the next event thereafter is PAW San Francisco March 14-15, 2011.

Anne: What are the top three things you think attract people to attend Predictive Analytics World?

Eric Siegel

Eric: In fact, we took a poll to find out which aspects of PAW's conference program is most compelling, and the answer is:

  1. Case studies
  2. Business applications
  3. A TIE: Keynote speakers, Advanced methods

This makes sense, since conference attendees want to see exactly how brand-named companies make use of predictive analytics, for which business applications, and how the deployed results turned out.

By the way, it's not too late to participate in this poll and see instant results.

Anne: What hot new areas in analytics do you see offering the most potential or untapped value: Net lift modeling? Social media analytics? Others? Eric: Yes, I agree those are two of the top hot new areas right now.

Net lift modeling is all about aiming to optimize the right thing. Not just when outcome will be positive or negative, but when our marketing action with a customer actually influences that outcome. It is so fundamental but can be elusive.

On that topic, note PAW London speaker Nicholas Radcliffe's upcoming session: "Uplift Modelling: You Should Not Only Measure But Model Incremental Response."

Once you are targeting/optimizing in this way for the right metric, the next question is how can the data be augmented: What other relevant sources are there? A strong, blossoming example is the second item you mentioned: social data. PAW DC includes two sessions on this topic: Forrester's James Kobielus speaks on "Social Network Analysis: Killer Application for Cloud Analytics," and Rapleaf's Auren Hoffman speaks on a case study with 1-800 Flowers, "Leveraging Social Media Data to Manage Fraud Risk."

Anne: As PAW goes to London, any hints as to which other places we might see PAW that are not yet listed on your blog?

Eric: There are parallel conversations about several regions, as predictive analytics is embraced and deployed globally. Nothing is official yet, but I could say that a new location in North America, beyond the annual events currently in San Francisco and Washington DC, may be the most likely next new destination for PAW, if I had to make a guess - followed thereafter by another global region or two.

Anne: By the way, thanks for posting Andreas Weigend's keynote from the February PAW (since I unfortunately missed it!). I think that's a great example of the kind of inspired thinking people can expect to experience if they go to PAW.

Eric: Many of PAW's keynotes such Dr. Weigends' are so insightful on a high level and provide a great deal of "food for thought." I think this complements nicely the concrete, detailed case study sessions that fill out most of the rest of the conference program.


About Author

Anne Milley

Sr Director, Analytic Strategy, JMP

Anne oversees analytic strategy in JMP Product Marketing. She is a contributing faculty member for the International Institute of Analytics. She enjoys organic gardening and spending time with her family.

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