Research and advisory firm Forrester defines predictive analytics as techniques, tools, and technologies that use data to find models...that can anticipate outcomes with a significant probability of accuracy.

As the Harvard Business Review HBR notes, it can be used to forecast demand for products, anticipate when technology is likely to break down, and adjust pricing and offers.

It can also help marketers prioritize their leads and, as HBR states, develop customer lifetime value or make recommendations.

However, there are a few housekeeping items marketers have to attend to before investing in technology—and continue to upkeep to keep their analysis accurate over time.

Professionals need to look for data both internally across the organization and externally e.g.

So, they need to test their established model by seeing if it can predict the test data set.

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