Chapter 6Predictive Analytics in Action

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

—Abraham Lincoln

In Chapter 5, the vice president (VP) of human resources (HR) asked you to produce measures that would help determine the effectiveness of the Retain & Grow initiative. After several iterations and brainstorming sessions, you both agreed on a set of metrics and how to display them for your business leaders.

This chapter focuses on the actions that happened between the meetings—in particular, how you gathered the data and began to analyze it using graphs and dashboards. This chapter also explores how to link different data sets and how to apply predictive analytics to create information for stakeholders.


The key performance indicators (KPIs) were developed in Chapter 4 through conversations with the VP, and you segmented the data into three types of measures: efficiency, effectiveness and outcomes. Now comes the sometimes onerous task of gathering the data.

Because the process has many measures and many steps, it is useful to create a tracking tool that contains all of the KPIs and various pieces of information about the measures that will help you gather them the first time and in the future. That tool might include this information:

  • In which department does the data reside?
  • Who is the gatekeeper or owner of the data?
  • Is it sensitive information?
  • If so, what approvals are necessary to gain access?
  • What type of data ...

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