How to leverage the power of prescriptive analytics to maximize the ROI

Product Marketing Manager, IBM Analytics, IBM

How many times in a day we get marketing calls, messages, emails and offers which are irrelevant to us? I have lost count of them as most of them don’t make any sense to me and they create a bad customer experience. Due to the huge volume of these telemarketing calls, I have installed an app which helps me to block these numbers. But there are instances where I get marketing calls and offers which are relevant to me. This clearly shows that how incorrect data can hamper an organization and analytics on bad data will give worse results.

In my job working for a technology vendor, I have never come across any organization who don’t have enough data: browsing data, call center records, payment details, surveys, social media data and location data. Most of these data are used in silos which results in incorrect segmentation, prediction and forecasting.

Use prescriptive analytics to make smarter decisions

Prescriptive analytics (optimization) is a sophisticated analytics technology. It can deliver great business value by helping decision makers handle the tough trade-offs that arise when limited resources force choices among options. Optimization was traditionally applied by Operations Research professionals to solve operational problems, such as route optimization and logistics planning. With the advent of new technologies that make it possible to model larger, enterprise-wide problems, and provide broad support for what-if analyses, Prescriptive analytics now enables a new class of business analytics applications.

Prescriptive analytics finally tells us what we actually should do! It computes a complex decision proposal that takes into account the specifics of my business, the limits of its operations, and even personal or business goals! Prescriptive analytics also makes use of different technologies like optimization, or uncertainty management. Mathematical optimization is the basis for these approaches, and CPLEX is its most prominent implementation.

The benefits of using analytics and optimization

  • Smarter decisions: Analytics helps you achieve better performance for lower cost. You can extend your business expertise with fact-based decisions. You can find non-obvious choices that maximize your value or minimize your costs while also observing the many complex requirements and strategies of modern businesses. You can test limits and assumptions to develop robust solutions that perform well under various scenarios. And optimization produces quantifiable benefits for your bottom line.
  • Faster decisions: Automating decision processes increases the speed of your responses in today’s accelerating markets. Automating allows your managers and planners to focus on critical complexities rather than on routine issues.
  • Effective enterprise decision support: Using the high-level modeling tools gives you faster, lower cost, lower risk development and maintenance. They enable your analysts to code and validate your model with less time and effort than traditional programming languages. By increasing the transparency of your model, they make maintaining and upgrading your system easier and more reliable.
  • Turn information into action: Advanced analytics solutions use the investment that you have in enterprise information technology and enable you to use that information in effective decision-making.

As companies move to transform their intelligence into action, mathematical optimization is becoming a fundamental tool—an absolute must have—in all strategic and operational planning and scheduling processes.

IBM Decision Optimization on Cloud fuses the power of the on-premises decision optimization offering with the flexibility and scalability of deployment on the IBM Softlayer cloud infrastructure. The preconfigured virtual machines and bare metal servers on IBM Softlayer provide greater efficiency by eliminating the IT learning curve, hardware investment and complex installation, for an overall lower cost of ownership. To learn more, please visit IBM Decision Optimization on Cloud.