Many people are confused about the specifics of machine learning and predictive analytics. Although they are both centered on efficient data processing, there are many differences.
Machine learning is a method of computational learning underlying most artificial intelligence (AI) applications. In ML, systems or algorithms improve themselves through data experience without relying on explicit programming. ML algorithms are wide-ranging tools capable of carrying out predictions while simultaneously learning from over trillions of observations.
Machine learning is considered a modern-day extension of predictive analytics. Efficient pattern recognition and self-learning are the backbones of ML models, which automatically evolve based on changing patterns in order to enable appropriate actions.
Many companies today depend on machine learning algorithms to better understand their clients and potential revenue opportunities. Hundreds of existing and newly developed machine learning algorithms are applied to derive high-end predictions that guide real-time decisions with less reliance on human intervention.
Business application of machine learning: employee satisfaction
One common, uncomplicated, yet successful business application of machine learning is measuring real-time employee satisfaction.
Machine learning applications can be highly complex, but one that’s both simple and very useful for business is a machine learning algorithm that compares employee satisfaction ratings to salaries. Instead of plotting a predictive satisfaction curve against salary figures for various employees, as predictive analytics would suggest, the algorithm assimilates huge amounts of random training data upon entry, and the prediction results are affected by any added training data to produce real-time accuracy and more helpful predictions.
This machine learning algorithm employs self-learning and automated recalibration in response to pattern changes in the training data, making machine learning more reliable for real-time predictions than other AI concepts. Repeatedly increasing or updating the bulk of training data guarantees better predictions.
Machine learning can also be implemented in image classification and facial recognition with deep learning and neural network techniques.
Predictive analytics can be defined as the procedure of condensing huge volumes of data into information that humans can understand and use. Basic descriptive analytic techniques include averages and counts. Descriptive analytics based on obtaining information from past events has evolved into predictive analytics, which attempts to predict the future based on historical data.
This concept applies complex techniques of classical statistics, like regression and decision trees, to provide credible answers to queries such as: ‘’How exactly will my sales be influenced by a 10% increase in advertising expenditure?’’ This leads to simulations and “what-if” analyses for users to learn more.
All predictive analytics applications involve three fundamental components:
- Data: The effectiveness of every predictive model strongly depends on the quality of the historical data it processes.
- Statistical modeling: Includes the various statistical techniques ranging from basic to complex functions used for the derivation of meaning, insight, and inference. Regression is the most commonly used statistical technique.
- Assumptions: The conclusions drawn from collected and analyzed data usually assume the future will follow a pattern related to the past.
Data analysis is crucial for any business en route to success, and predictive analytics can be applied in numerous ways to enhance business productivity. These include things like marketing campaign optimization, risk assessment, market analysis, and fraud detection.
Business application of predictive analytics: marketing campaign optimization
In the past, valuable marketing campaign resources were wasted by businesses using instincts alone to try to capture market niches. Today, many predictive analytic strategies help businesses identify, engage, and secure suitable markets for their services and products, driving greater efficiency into marketing campaigns.
A clear application is using visitors’ search history and usage patterns on e-commerce websites to make product recommendations. Sites like Amazon increase their chance of sales by recommending products based on specific consumer interests. Predictive analytics now plays a vital role in the marketing operations of real estate, insurance, retail, and almost every other sector.
How machine learning and predictive analytics are related
While businesses must understand the differences between machine learning and predictive analytics, it’s just as important to know how they are related. Basically, machine learning is a predictive analytics branch. Despite having similar aims and processes, there are two main differences between them:
- Machine learning works out predictions and recalibrates models in real-time automatically after design. Meanwhile, predictive analytics works strictly on “cause” data and must be refreshed with “change” data.
- Unlike machine learning, predictive analytics still relies on human experts to work out and test the associations between cause and outcome.
Explore machine learning applications and AI software with SAP Leonardo.