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Predictive Analytics - book cover

Predictive Analytics 

The Power to Predict

Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die

“A clear and compelling explanation of the power of predictive analytics and how it can transform companies and even industries.” —Anthony Goldbloom, Founder, Kaggle

Predictive Analytics is not only a deeply informative dive into a topic that is critical to virtually every sector of business today, it is also a delight to read.” —Geoffrey Moore, author, Crossing the Chasm

“What Nate Silver did for poker and politics, this does for everything else.” —David Leinweber, author, Nerds on Wall Street


“The Bible of predictive analytics.” —KDnuggets

“Companies agree
With what your ex always said:
You're predictable.”

Businessweek haiku about Predictive Analytics

Award-winning | Used by hundreds of universities | Translated into 12 languages

An introduction for everyone. In this rich, fascinating — surprisingly accessible — introduction, leading expert Eric Siegel reveals how predictive analytics (aka machine learning) works, and how it affects everyone every day. Rather than a "how to" for hands-on techies, the book serves lay readers and experts alike by covering new case studies and the latest state-of-the-art techniques.

Prediction is booming. It reinvents industries and runs the world. Companies, governments, law enforcement, hospitals, and universities are seizing upon the power. These institutions predict whether you're going to click, buy, lie, or die.

Why? For good reason: predicting human behavior combats risk, boosts sales, fortifies healthcare, streamlines manufacturing, conquers spam, optimizes social networks, toughens crime fighting, and wins elections.

How? Prediction is powered by the world's most potent, flourishing unnatural resource: data. Accumulated in large part as the by-product of routine tasks, data is the unsalted, flavorless residue deposited en masse as organizations churn away. Surprise! This heap of refuse is a gold mine. Big data embodies an extraordinary wealth of experience from which to learn.

Predictive analytics (aka machine learning) unleashes the power of data. With this technology, the computer literally learns from data how to predict the future behavior of individuals. Perfect prediction is not possible, but putting odds on the future drives millions of decisions more effectively, determining whom to call, mail, investigate, incarcerate, set up on a date, or medicate.

In this lucid, captivating introduction — now in its Revised and Updated edition — former Columbia University professor and Machine Learning Week founder Eric Siegel reveals the power and perils of prediction:

  • What type of mortgage risk Chase Bank predicted before the recession.

  • Predicting which people will drop out of school, cancel a subscription, or get divorced before they even know it themselves.

  • Why early retirement predicts a shorter life expectancy and vegetarians miss fewer flights.

  • Five reasons why organizations predict death — including one health insurance company.

  • How U.S. Bank and Obama for America calculated the way to most strongly persuade each individual.

  • Why the NSA wants all your data: machine learning supercomputers to fight terrorism.

  • How IBM's Watson computer used predictive modeling to answer questions and beat the human champs on TV's Jeopardy!

  • How companies ascertain untold, private truths — how Target figures out you're pregnant and Hewlett-Packard deduces you're about to quit your job.

  • How judges and parole boards rely on crime-predicting computers to decide how long convicts remain in prison.

  • 183 examples from Airbnb, the BBC, Citibank, ConEd, Facebook, Ford, Google, the IRS, LinkedIn,, MTV, Netflix, PayPal, Pfizer, Spotify, Uber, UPS, Wikipedia, and more.


How does predictive analytics work? This jam-packed book satisfies by demystifying the intriguing science under the hood. For future hands-on practitioners pursuing a career in the field, it sets a strong foundation, delivers the prerequisite knowledge, and whets your appetite for more.

Predictive analytics transcends human perception. This book's final chapter answers the riddle: What often happens to you that cannot be witnessed, and that you can't even be sure has happened afterward — but that can be predicted in advance?

A truly omnipresent science, predictive analytics constantly affects our daily lives. Whether you are a consumer of it — or consumed by it — get a handle on the power of Predictive Analytics.

Paperback, ebook, or audiobook

Predictive Analytics - book awards
  • A Porchlight business bestseller

  • Adopted by hundreds of universities

  • Translated into 12 languages

Visit the full website for Predictive Analytics for more endorsements, plus excerpts, videos, and reviews.

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