Preface to the Revised and Updated EditionWhat's New and Who's This Book for—The Predictive Analytics FAQ

Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the Twenty-first Century

—Title of a Harvard Business Review article by Thomas Davenport and DJ Patil, who in 2015 became the first U.S. Chief Data Scientist

Prediction is booming. It reinvents industries and runs the world.

More and more, predictive analytics (PA) drives commerce, manufacturing, healthcare, government, and law enforcement. In these spheres, organizations operate more effectively by way of predicting behavior—i.e., the outcome for each individual customer, employee, patient, voter, and suspect.

Everyone's doing it. Accenture and Forrester both report that PA's adoption has more than doubled in recent years. Transparency Market Research projects the PA market will reach $6.5 billion within a few years. A Gartner survey ranked business intelligence and analytics as the current number one investment priority of chief information officers. And in a Salesforce.com study, PA showed the highest growth rate of all sales tech trends, more than doubling its adoption in the next 18 months. High-performance sales teams are four times more likely to already be using PA than underperformers.

I am a witness to PA's expanding deployment across industries. Predictive Analytics World (PAW), the conference series I founded, has hosted over 10,000 attendees since its launch in 2009 and is expanding well beyond its original PAW Business events. ...

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