Predictive analytics is widely touted as one of the "next big things" in business intelligence. Yet most discussions of the topic really describe the "same old things" that statisticians and business analysts have been talked about for years. These are models and scoring systems that predict the likely behavior of customers, prospects and (outside of marketing) other entities such as prices and demand. These always were, and still are, immensely valuable applications of business data. But they are not new.

The generic descriptions of predictive analytics include a few hints of fresh approaches. Even these are not truly new ideas, but they are just now becoming practical for broad implementation. This is mostly due to the recent availability of infrastructures such as data warehouses and integrated customer management systems needed to supply the necessary data and deliver the predictive analysis results. These newer components include:

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