3 CIOs Reveal How They Got Started With Predictive Analytics

Want to succeed with predictive analytics? These CIOs say it takes a lot of front-end data work and angst about cultural change.

If you want to learn how to succeed with predictive analytics at your business, these three CIOs offer hands-on adivce. In short, they say it takes a lot of front-end data work and be prepared for angst about cultural change.

Expect Culture Shock

Chris Coye, Senior Vice President & CIO, Disney ABC Television Group: We've implemented three predictive analytics tools this year: One analyzes what-if ad sales scenarios, another is a promotional media-optimization tool, and a third will help our executives decide which pilots to pick up. We created a small data analytics team in IT, but the models are built by Disney's revenue sciences group.

The biggest technical challenge was getting the right source data. We have multiple divisions, and that data had to be standardized. We built our own extract, transform and load tool, but we're migrating to a commercial tool to speed the process.

Culturally, these tools have caused a lot of angst. Research doesn't want sales to see its data too early; sales doesn't want finance to see its data too early. Information is now available earlier than people are comfortable with; everyone wants to maintain control over the narrative describing their results.

It's a big change driven by our CFO and CTO, with the expectation that these tools will enable better decisions. Determining whether to sell an ad or use that time slot for a show promo used to be based on gut feel; now the tool predicts what will drive more revenue--selling that ad or getting more viewers to watch tomorrow night's episode of Revenge.

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