The world of advanced data analytics is evolving, with prescriptive analytics moving into the forefront by offering a more augmented approach to predictive and descriptive analytics. Gartner describes prescriptive analytics as a form of advanced analytics that examines data or content to answer the question "What should be done?"
This question often looms over tech leaders' heads as they search for guidance in regards to opportunities, risks, outcomes, and more, which makes prescriptive analytics recommendations and solutions all the more welcome to the enterprise.
SEE: Prescriptive analytics research report 2019: Tech leaders open to emerging technology (TechRepublic)
In April/May 2019, ZDNet sister site Tech Pro Research surveyed tech professionals to find out why and where companies use prescriptive analytics. Survey questions covered topics such as usage areas, implementation, factors for success, and more.
More than half of the survey respondents (65%) currently use or plan to use prescriptive analytics within the next 12 to 24 months. Of the survey respondents, just 35 percent have no plans to use prescriptive analytics now or in the future.
Of those respondents who actively use prescriptive analytics, 11 percent use prescriptive analytics widely throughout their companies; 13 percent implemented several prescriptive analytics projects and plan to expand; and 24 percent are conducting prescriptive analytics pilot projects. Trepidation was noted in 49 precent of respondents who are researching prescriptive analytics but have not yet deployed it.
SEE: Prescriptive analytics: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
How companies implement their prescriptive analytics projects ranged from in-house development to outsourcing development. Thirty-two percent of respondents said their business areas developed projects in-house, while 25 percent of respondents said their IT department, specifically, developed projects in-house. One quarter of respondents (25%) hired an outside consultant or vendor to develop prescriptive analytics projects; a smaller number of respondents (11%) relied on prescriptive analytics reports that came with a vendor's software package.
Most industries can find a use case for prescriptive analytics. According to survey results, operations tops the list (54%) of where companies use prescriptive analytics the most. Marketing/sales follows, with 43 percent of respondents using prescriptive analytics in those industry verticals. Companies use prescriptive analytics for only 29 percent of finance and IT work.
The infographic below contains selected details from the research. To read more findings, plus analysis, download the full report Prescriptive analytics research report 2019: Tech leaders open to emerging technology(Tech Pro Research subscription required).