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Predictive Analytics service by Amazon: reality or hype?

Crystal BallOne of my favorite quotes about life comes from Yogi Berra who said, “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Yogi is absolutely right — it woud be nice to predict the future by simply analyzing our past behavior. If life was that straightforward, then every armchair quarterback of an investor would make millions off the stock market by simply looking at past stock performance. In reality, life is just more complicated and far less predictable.

I was excited to read an article in the New York Times by Quentin Hardy* about the potential analytics as a service offering from Amazon. While Mr. Hardy was somewhat unclear regarding what type of analytics service Amazon may provide, the article seemed to indicate that they are interested in developing a predictive analytics service. Predictive analytics is incredibly valuable to marketers as it allows brands to analyze volumes data, such as purchase history or social analytics chatter, to determine when will segments of consumers are most likely respond to a marketing tactic or to complete a purchase.

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