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Predictive analytics- A Case for Nonprofits and Government contracting agencies

Non-profits and Government Contractors can gain significant long-term benefits by applying predictive analytics to their operational and historical data. Unlike traditional BI, which are more backward-looking in nature, predictive analytics approaches are focused on helping companies glean actionable intelligence based on historical data.If applied correctly, predictive analytics can enable organizations to identify and respond to new opportunities more quickly. Predictive analytics practices can help Contracting agencies in three key areas: minimizing risk, identifying fraud and pursuing new revenue opportunities.By embedding predictive analytics into operational data, companies can put themselves in a better position to identify new revenue opportunities.

Some of the areas in which predictive analytics is being used by government contracting agencies include:

Health and Human services. During the H1N1 pandemic, organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health relied on predictive analytics to track and predict the spread and virulence of the virus in order to provide the basis for their public health advisories and activities. Contracting agencies are building on Predictive analytic capabilities to apply and identify the "highly improbable events" as Nicholas Nassem Taleb had elucidated in his books "Fooled by Randomness" and "Black Swan". The problem, Nassim explains, is that we place too much weight on the odds that past events will repeat (diligently trying to follow the path of the "millionaire next door," when unrepeatable chance is a better explanation). Instead, the really important events are rare and unpredictable. He calls them Black Swans, which is a reference to a 17th century philosophical thought experiment.

Federal and state revenue contracting agencies. Many tax agencies employ predictive analytics to identify patterns that warrant further investigation and to prioritize legal action to collect unpaid taxes. Additionally, they use predictive analytics to understand the likely impact of policies on revenue generation.

Defense and intelligence. Defense and intelligence contracting organizations often turn to predictive analytics as one of the tools they use to assemble, cross reference and analyze large volumes of data to determine what actions to take to fine-tune their strategies and tactics.

Public safety departments. Police, fire and rescue organizations face a constant struggle to serve the public with limited resources. Predictive analytics is used by police departments to uncover patterns of criminal behavior to help them determine the most effective deployments of their officers. Likewise, fire and rescue departments can use predictive analytics to forecast the greatest demand for fire and rescue assets to deploy their resources most effectively.

The backbone for most predictive analytics applications is the data management repository for the data set(s) used to build and score the predictive analytics models. These tend to be high-performance database servers. Increasingly, columnar databases, designed specifically for analytics, are being employed as opposed to traditional relational databases. A key requirement for predictive analytics projects is a predictive analytics tooling platform to build and score the predictive analytics models. These platforms provide a comprehensive set of design, development, algorithmic and other aids essential for predictive analytics operations.In database analytics, wherein application logic is embedded within the analytics database server to increase performance, reduce latency and improve security is emerging as a very popular and useful technology for optimizing predictive analytics applications.

Companies like Palantir Technologies have successfully developed an Analytics platform designed for environments where the fragments of data that an analyst combines to tell the larger story are spread across a vast set of starting material. Palantir provides flexible tools to import and model data, intuitive constructs to search against this data, and powerful techniques to iteratively define and test hypotheses. Government and Government contracting space provides a growing opportunities for Analytic technology companies that have traditionally focused on Business-to-consumer space.

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Tags: Analytics, Government, Nonprofits, Palantir, Predictive, contracting


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Comment by John A Morrison on October 4, 2011 at 12:30am


I think we are thinking along the same lines, here is my perspective or angle on this;-



a discussion of european issues of data quality & reliability

& a sketch of a roadmap to address such




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