Predictive Analytics Delivers Strategic Benefits

Enterprises can gain significant long-term benefits by applying predictive analytics to their operational and historical data. The technology can help companies quickly identify and respond to new opportunities.

Unlike traditional business intelligence practices, which are more backward looking in nature, predictive analytic approaches are focused on helping companies glean actionable intelligence based on historical data. If applied correctly, predictive analytics can enable companies to identify and respond to new opportunities more quickly.

Big data
At Computerworld‘s BI & Analytics Perspectives conference this week, James Taylor, CEO of Decision Management Solutions, said predictive analytics is especially useful in situations where companies need to make quick decisions with large volumes of data. “Predictive analytics practices can help companies in three key areas: minimizing risk, identifying fraud and pursuing new revenue opportunities”, he said.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield System (BCBS) provides healthcare insurance and gathered huge amounts of claims-related data over the years. It has a single database called Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) to consolidate all the claims information maintained by each of its 39 companies. The database is one of the largest repositories of healthcare data anywhere and contains claims-related information on more than 100 million people.

Control costs
BHI operates as an independent unit and provides a range of business intelligence services that is enabling better health care services for members while also transforming the manner in which BCBS manages it costs. “The impetus for the effort came from the need for BCBS, like other health insurers, to control spiraling costs”, said Swati Abbot, president and CEO of BHI.

“A disproportionate share of healthcare costs goes toward the care of people with chronic illnesses. In fact, the top 5% of healthcare users account for more than 55% of healthcare costs”, she said.

At risk
“By applying predictive analytic technologies to its vast trove of claims data, BCBS has been getting better at not only identifying the risk factors that lead to several chronic diseases but also in identifying individuals who are at heightened risk of getting such diseases.”