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Applied Business Analytics: Integrating Business Process, Big Data, and Advanced Analytics by Nathaniel Lin

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7. Identifying Business Opportunities by Recognizing Patterns

“How could you know which customers will buy...Did you have a ‘Crystal Ball’?”

—An IBM sales leader

Patterns of Group Behavior

When you see the effectiveness of analytics predictions for the first time, it does feel like magic. How can you predict which customers would buy certain products? It is like trying to predict how pollen suspended in water would move over time. It is well known that it is virtually impossible to predict the exact movement of a single pollen suspended in water. Albert Einstein was the first to understand the Brownian motion of a single pollen in 1905 that led to a Nobel Prize in 1926 for the experiment that verified Einstein’s theory. However, predicting the ...

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