Physical Predictive Analytics


Big data. It’s the buzz word used everywhere, usually thought of for use by tech companies such as IBM and Intel, but is now making it’s way into a variety of other companies – even Wal-Mart!

An recent article discusses the next big thing in big data. When dealing with a wealth of data, there’s:

  1. descriptive analytics – explains what has happened in the past
  2. predictive analytics – predicting future events
  3. prescriptive analytics – will predict the future, explaining why and “prescribing” some solution for what will happen

The article mentions self-driving cars as an example and how prescriptive analytics allows cars to handle left and right turns to happen in the future. However, I can see this playing a larger role in ubiquitous computing related to physical devices and sensors that control behavior in other ways. For example, take a thermostat which can use weather forecasting data to predict how weather will affect future A/C usage and issue bill ahead of time. The thermostat uses future forecasting and makes some decision (specifying a bill) based on household use. In what other ways can an abundance of big data and sensors play a role in the future of prescriptive analytics.

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