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As the author Pearl Zhu defines the two, “Predictive Analytics is to predict future outcomes; Prescriptive Analytics goes one step beyond and tell us not only what might happen (prediction) but also prescribes an action (Prescription) in order to convert the information into actionable knowledge.”
In our view – the link between the two is directly connected – the knowledge gleaned from the predictive analytics is only worthwhile if it incites the wisdom that will result in impactful decisions when they need to be made. The most important way to catalyze predictive analytics to become prescriptive in a way that improves your business is to ensure you’re providing the insights from the analyses in a way that is timely - exactly when the frontline employee is making a decision. The insights must also be easily digestible - the employees who are on the frontlines don’t have the time or know-how necessarily to sift through tons of data to find the exact angle that will help them in the decision they are about to make.
Lastly – to truly improve your business with all analytics, you need to ensure the insights gleaned are truly actionable to the frontline – when delivered it should be extremely clear on what they should do based on having learned this information. Holding the recipients of the insights accountable is the closed-loop final step to ensure that from insight creation to delivery – the results of your combined predictive and prescriptive analytics are truly driving positive business change.