Practical Predictive Analytics

Practical Predictive Analytics

by Ralph Winters


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Make sense of your data and predict the unpredictable

About This Book
  • A unique book that centers around develop six key practical skills needed to develop and implement predictive analytics
  • Apply the principles and techniques of predictive analytics to effectively interpret big data
  • Solve real-world analytical problems with the help of practical case studies and real-world scenarios taken from the world of healthcare, marketing, and other business domains
Who This Book Is For

This book is for those with a mathematical/statistics background who wish to understand the concepts, techniques, and implementation of predictive analytics to resolve complex analytical issues. Basic familiarity with a programming language of R is expected.

What You Will Learn
  • Master the core predictive analytics algorithm which are used today in business
  • Learn to implement the six steps for a successful analytics project
  • Classify the right algorithm for your requirements
  • Use and apply predictive analytics to research problems in healthcare
  • Implement predictive analytics to retain and acquire your customers
  • Use text mining to understand unstructured data
  • Develop models on your own PC or in Spark/Hadoop environments
  • Implement predictive analytics products for customers
In Detail

This is the go-to book for anyone interested in the steps needed to develop predictive analytics solutions with examples from the world of marketing, healthcare, and retail. We'll get started with a brief history of predictive analytics and learn about different roles and functions people play within a predictive analytics project. Then, we will learn about various ways of installing R along with their pros and cons, combined with a step-by-step installation of RStudio, and a description of the best practices for organizing your projects.

On completing the installation, we will begin to acquire the skills necessary to input, clean, and prepare your data for modeling. We will learn the six specific steps needed to implement and successfully deploy a predictive model starting from asking the right questions through model development and ending with deploying your predictive model into production. We will learn why collaboration is important and how agile iterative modeling cycles can increase your chances of developing and deploying the best successful model.

We will continue your journey in the cloud by extending your skill set by learning about Databricks and SparkR, which allow you to develop predictive models on vast gigabytes of data.

Style and Approach

This book takes a practical hands-on approach wherein the algorithms will be explained with the help of real-world use cases. It is written in a well-researched academic style which is a great mix of theoretical and practical information. Code examples are supplied for both theoretical concepts as well as for the case studies. Key references and summaries will be provided at the end of each chapter so that you can explore those topics on their own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785886188
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Publication date: 06/30/2017
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.17(d)

About the Author

Ralph Winters started his career as a database researcher for a music performing rights organization (he composed as well!), and then branched out into healthcare survey research, finally landing in the Analytics and Information technology world. He has provided his statistical and analytics expertise to many large fortune 500 companies in the financial, direct marketing, insurance, healthcare, and pharmaceutical industries. He has worked on many diverse types of predictive analytics projects involving customer retention, anti-money laundering, voice of the customer text mining analytics, and health care risk and customer choice models.

He is currently data architect for a healthcare services company working in the data and advanced analytics group. He enjoys working collaboratively with a smart team of business analysts, technologists, actuaries as well as with other data scientists.

Ralph considered himself a practical person. In addition to authoring Practical Predictive Analytics for Packt Publishing, he has also contributed two tutorials illustrating the use of predictive analytics in Medicine and Healthcare in Practical Predictive Analytics and Decisioning Systems for Medicine: Miner et al., Elsevier September, 2014, and also presented Practical Text Mining with SQL using Relational Databases, at the 2013 11th Annual Text and Social Analytics Summit in Cambridge, MA.

Ralph resides in New Jersey with his loving wife Katherine, amazing daughters Claire and Anna, and his four-legged friends, Bubba and Phoebe, who can be unpredictable.

Ralph's web site can be found at

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