Can we use predictive analysis to better understand human behaviour?
Can we predict human behaviour using predictive analysis? While we have discussed the potential of using analytics platforms to anticipate future trends, we have never talked about how accurate it could be in portraying the routine behaviour of people.
It might sound a little odd at first, but when you think about it, it does make sense. Experienced professionals use their vast experience to anticipate what could happen in the future. These veterans rely on their intuition, which is not always reliable, but these professionals are highly valued precisely because of their experience and long-term thinking. Can predictive analytics platforms perform a similar function to these veterans but with more accuracy? That is going to be the subject of our article.
Can you accurately predict human behaviour with predictive analytics?
Dozens of professionals are committed to understanding human behaviour. Historians, sociologists, psychologists, criminologists and market researchers have been trying to understand how people behave for decades. So the idea of trying to predict human behaviour by studying the past is not new.
However, predictive analysis can improve existing research methods with an unprecedented level of accuracy to complement already existing research processes. Analytics platforms can collect data from a variety of sources to analyse them on a scale conventional research tools cannot match.
Machine learning algorithms can examine massive data levels to analyse human behaviour with more depth. Predictive analysis allows organisations to breakdown large datasets for in-depth analysis. Drawing on a large range of data sources makes their prediction on human behaviour more accurate than before. Anything from demographic data to geographical location adds to our understanding of human behaviour.
This means predictive analysis can generate accurate answers to complex questions. What is the behavioural pattern of a target population? Predictive analysis can account for all these factors and more.
There is also the advantage of accuracy. Predictive analysis uses several advanced analytical methods like regression analysis to identify the relationship between variables. The result is a level of analysis far more accurate than anything most organisations can devise with conventional methods.
The ability for predictive analytics to draw from a wide variety of sources and still deliver accurate results can be attributed to the technology that supports predictive analytics. Predictive analysis platforms are made up of AI and machine learning algorithms that can breakdown and analyse data in ways that were not possible before.
Data is broken down in a process called data mining – it is the process of breaking down large blocks of data to analyse information for meaningful patterns and trends. Data is also analysed in a process called regression analysis to identify the relationship between variables. While the precise methods can vary, it is about discovering the influence of independent variables on dependent variables. The exact process is quite complex and can only be done with any reasonable degree of accuracy using analytics platforms.
However, it should be noted that data analytics is not foolproof. This is because most predictive analytics platforms become attuned to making predictions based on historical data if not optimised. For example, analytics platforms can register human bias rather than acting as a bulwark against it, if not programmed properly.
Despite this drawback, predictive analysis offers the best chance of understanding human behaviour more accurately. Public and private organisations can benefit tremendously from using these tools to better understand people’s behaviour.
The potential of predicting human behaviour using predictive analysis
What can organisations do if they can predict human behaviour with a reasonable degree of accuracy?
Private organisations can refine their marketing and customer service efforts, but that is just scratching the surface. NGOs will be better placed to provide support, hospitals can focus on proactive healthcare, and businesses can better understand their customer base. There is a lot of potential for a mutually beneficial relationship when predicting human behaviour accurately, along with some exciting new possibilities.
Can we better understand people using predictive analytics?
Predicting human behaviour offers several advantages for both organisations and people in the form of better service, more convenient offers and better performance, provided the right tools are in place. With its ability to process large datasets accurately, a platform for predictive analysis could be one of the most convenient tools to study human behaviour.