Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die
By Eric Siegel

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Product Description

"Mesmerizing & fascinating..."  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"The Freakonomics of big data." —Stein Kretsinger, founding executive of

Award-winning | Used by over 30 universities | Translated into 9 languages

An introduction for everyone. In this rich, fascinating — surprisingly accessible — introduction, leading expert Eric Siegel reveals how predictive analytics (aka machine learning) works, and how it affects everyone every day. Rather than a “how to” for hands-on techies, the book serves lay readers and experts alike by covering new case studies and the latest state-of-the-art techniques.

Prediction is booming. It reinvents industries and runs the world. Companies, governments, law enforcement, hospitals, and universities are seizing upon the power. These institutions predict whether you're going to click, buy, lie, or die.

Why? For good reason: predicting human behavior combats risk, boosts sales, fortifies healthcare, streamlines manufacturing, conquers spam, optimizes social networks, toughens crime fighting, and wins elections.

How? Prediction is powered by the world's most potent, flourishing unnatural resource: data. Accumulated in large part as the by-product of routine tasks, data is the unsalted, flavorless residue deposited en masse as organizations churn away. Surprise! This heap of refuse is a gold mine. Big data embodies an extraordinary wealth of experience from which to learn.

Predictive analytics (aka machine learning) unleashes the power of data. With this technology, the computer literally learns from data how to predict the future behavior of individuals. Perfect prediction is not possible, but putting odds on the future drives millions of decisions more effectively, determining whom to call, mail, investigate, incarcerate, set up on a date, or medicate.

In this lucid, captivating introduction — now in its Revised and Updated edition — former Columbia University professor and Predictive Analytics World founder Eric Siegel reveals the power and perils of prediction:

  • What type of mortgage risk Chase Bank predicted before the recession.
  • Predicting which people will drop out of school, cancel a subscription, or get divorced before they even know it themselves.
  • Why early retirement predicts a shorter life expectancy and vegetarians miss fewer flights.
  • Five reasons why organizations predict death — including one health insurance company.
  • How U.S. Bank and Obama for America calculated the way to most strongly persuade each individual.
  • Why the NSA wants all your data: machine learning supercomputers to fight terrorism.
  • How IBM's Watson computer used predictive modeling to answer questions and beat the human champs on TV's Jeopardy!
  • How companies ascertain untold, private truths — how Target figures out you're pregnant and Hewlett-Packard deduces you're about to quit your job.
  • How judges and parole boards rely on crime-predicting computers to decide how long convicts remain in prison.
  • 182 examples from Airbnb, the BBC, Citibank, ConEd, Facebook, Ford, Google, the IRS, LinkedIn,, MTV, Netflix, PayPal, Pfizer, Spotify, Uber, UPS, Wikipedia, and more. 

How does predictive analytics work? This jam-packed book satisfies by demystifying the intriguing science under the hood. For future hands-on practitioners pursuing a career in the field, it sets a strong foundation, delivers the prerequisite knowledge, and whets your appetite for more.

A truly omnipresent science, predictive analytics constantly affects our daily lives. Whether you are a consumer of it — or consumed by it — get a handle on the power of Predictive Analytics.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #14036 in Books
  • Brand: Siegel Eric
  • Published on: 2016-01-11
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.80" h x 1.10" w x 5.90" l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 368 pages


  • Predictive Analytics The Power to Predict Who Will Click Buy Lie or Die

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


In this rich, fascinating—and surprisingly accessible—introduction, leading expert Eric Siegel reveals how predictive analytics works, and how it affects everyone every day.

Trendsetters like Chase, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM,, Netflix, the NSA, Pfizer, Target, and Uber are seizing upon the power of big data to predict human behavior—including yours.

Why? Predictive analytics reinvents industries and runs the world. Read on to discover how it combats risk, boosts sales, fortifies healthcare, optimizes social networks, toughens crime fighting, and wins elections.

"What Nate Silver did for poker and politics, this does for everything else."
—David Leinweber, author of Nerds on Wall Street

"The Freakonomics of big data."
—Stein Kretsinger, founding executive,

"A deeply informative dive into a topic that is critical to virtually every sector of business today."
Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm

"Moneyball for business, government, and healthcare."
—Jim Sterne, founder, eMetrics Summit

Learn more:

About the Author

ERIC SIEGEL, PhD, is the founder of Predictive Analytics World and executive editor of The Predictive Analytics Times. A former Columbia University professor, he is a renowned speaker, educator, and leader in the field.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5Does your mother know your bad habits?
By a. d. kyles
Eric Siegel is telling it all regarding predictive analytics. He suggests people are having their behavior examined and collected by corporations, political think tanks, etc. Great read!

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
5This book is a great overview for anyone who is interested in applying Predictive Analytics.
By greg75
As a professional with extensive operations & development background I wish I could have read this book when I began my journey into Data Science. I am someone who has used and built traditional business intelligence tools over the last fifteen years this book is fantastic at framing how Predictive Analytics is being used and for what specific business benefits.

The book is intentionally not filled with math formulas (which may turn off some) but it focuses more on use cases of how the businesses around you are leveraging the data they already collect through daily operations. It's about how they are gaining a better insight into where their efforts are best spent to maximize their return on investment or capitalize on a previously masked rich subset of their existing customer base.

If you're looking for a technical breakdown of how these algorithms work or are applied there are dozens of other books that Eric recommends as followup (referenced in probably the best notes section of any book I've ever seen).

If you want a taste of the kind of information that you'll find in the book you should look on the Predictive Analytic World website for his keynote speech he did in Boston last year. It's a great book overview and convinced me to purchase the book.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5Good book on business analytics
By Alan
Fantastic book! Great concepts about business analytics that can be applied in the field.

See all 302 customer reviews...

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