The expert forecasters see predictive data analysis expanding in the future as a critical tool for business. Increasingly huge amounts of data about human behavior are available for “mining”, which as it sounds, involves digging in and pulling out relevant information that is used to predict human behavior, human aptitudes, human reactions, you name it. Most of us experience this phenomenon, or should we say a deliberate manipulation, when the first letter we manage to type on a Google search gives us an immediate array of possible suggestions as to what we are looking for. Google is using predictive analytics based on our past searching along with a host of other data points about our location and demographic position in the universe.
Predictive analytics has been used for some time by government, insurance actuaries, credit bureaus and so forth, but more and more the tool is being used by retailers and other businesses in strategic planning and marketing based on anticipating the interests and demands of consumers and users. Results will be used to shape web site design, merchandising strategies, restaurant formats and menus, who is the best candidate to hire, how to form a project team to name a few applications. Moreover, as detailed in a recent CNBC article about big data in commercial real estate, buyers will see more transparency as they look to invest in property. From a real estate standpoint, new housing, public venues and spaces, office space design and community infrastructure development will be guided by predictive analytics. As data mining becomes more prevalent, it has the potential to give way to technologies that will fundamentally change the way business is done in the commercial real estate world. Let’s hope that the creative human spirit continues to set our behavior rather than the possibility that predictive data analysis begins to dictate how we act.