What Exactly The Heck Are Prescriptive Analytics?

Mike Gualtieri

Prescriptive analyticsPrescriptive analytics is about using data and analytics to improve decisions and therefore the effectiveness of actions. Isn’t that what all analytics should be about? A hearty “yes” to that because, if analytics does not lead to more informed decisions and more effective actions, then why do it at all? Many wrongly and incompletely define prescriptive analytics as the what comes after predictive analytics. Our research indicates that prescriptive analytics is not a specific type of analytics, but rather an umbrella term for many types of analytics that can improve decisions. Think of the term “prescriptive” as the goal of all these analytics — to make more effective decisions — rather than a specific analytical technique. Forrester formally defines prescriptive analytics as:

"Any combination of analytics, math, experiments, simulation, and/or artificial intelligence used to improve the effectiveness of decisions made by humans or by decision logic embedded in applications."

Prescriptive Analytics Inform And Evolve Decision Logic Whether To Act (not not act) And What Action To Take

Prescriptive analytics can be used in two ways:

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