“On the bubble” – ever heard that phrase? Do you know where it comes from? Legend has it that this American expression may have originated in the Indy 500 racing community. If a driver was about to qualify for the Indy 500 race, and then another driver came up with a new best time and pushed him out of the qualifying pack, his bubble would be burst. Another origin maybe tied to bubbles found in a carpenter’s level which accurately display the threshold between verging one way or another. My favorite interpretation is thinking about a pot of water on the stove and the bubbles sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan as it heats, just about to boil.
I often hear, “We want to DO Predictive.” I then inquire back, “What does that mean to you and to your organization?” Most of the time, the person asking can’t say what it is or what it means or how they expect to “do” it, but they know they want in!
So, if you want to “DO” Predictive Analytics, you must first determine your bubble.
- Who or what is on the bubble?
- What action can I take to steer them one way or another before or at the moment of decision?
Thus, in the context of Predictive Analytics and Big Data, “on the bubble” means: on the verge of making the cut or not, on the verge of going one way or the other, on the verge of boiling (i.e. a student likely to drop out, a customer likely to churn to and move to another provider, a shopper likely to take an offer and expand wallet share, etc.). This means that, by using historical and current data, you can focus your operations, efforts and funding in the places that will have the most and best impact.
There you have it; that is about the smallest and simplest nutshell there is for Predictive Analytics. If you’d like to DO Predictive Analytics, don’t just sit on the bubble – give us a call or contact us at Sales@LodestarSolutions.com. We would be happy to help you get started!