advise on possible outcomes
Prescriptive Analytics share with Predictive Analytics their stochastic interpretation of the future, based on the analysis of already available data. Their crucial difference, which leads to their nomination as the “final frontier of business analytics” is the fact that they aim to determine /why/ the predicted future outcomes will happen and offer ways to manipulate these outcomes. Effectively, it answers to the question “What should we do?”, by having analysed and rationalised “where do we stand?”.
Prescriptive analytics use various mathematical and statistical models coming from different fields like natural language processing, machine learning, operational research, etc. These are combined with different business rules related to goal setting, best practices, legal obligations and constraints, etc.
Ultimately, Prescriptive Analytics allow the mass-scale simulation of scenarios, are able to determine the effect of different decisions for a given process and ultimately, provide suggestions for the optimisation of the process with respect to the defined targets. They are, therefore, the most explicit, effective support mechanism for the decision maker.