I often heard about Prescriptive Analytics recently, as the new type of analytics (in addition to Descriptive and Predictive Analytics). According to websites and whitepapers, Prescriptive Analytics is the next step after descriptive/predictive analytics. Once you get predictions, you need to prescribe actions to leverage these predictions.
I’m now wondering if this topic is really new or if it’s just a new name for something we have been doing for years. First, I wonder since people have been working on Decision Management Systems and Decision Support for years now (for example experts such as James Taylor). I remember discussing about the step “from analytics to action” years ago. Is Prescriptive Analytics the new term to name the step from analytics to knowledge in the data to knowledge pyramid?
If it’s the case, then it’s fine, but it’s not new. Who would make a prediction without any prescriptions in a data mining project (at least in industry)? In online advertising, for example, you score each visitor for each ad model. At the end, you prescribe an action (which ad to show). Without this prescription, you wouldn’t make any money at the end of the day.
In my view, most analytics projects already have a “Prescriptive Analytics” phase in order for the project to be valuable for the company. What do you think about Prescriptive Analytics? Buzzword or real new emerging concept? Feel free to share your opinion.
Two articles about Prescriptive Analytics: