Predictive modeling is a big data job that uses analytics to create statistical models of behavior. Professionals use variable factors called predictors to determine the potential outcome of a specific situation. For example, predictive modeling can be used to determine how a customer’s age, gender, income and purchase history might predict the likelihood of a future purchase. However, like all aspects of analytics, predictive modeling is not just used in sales or marketing. It has become an essential tool for customer relationship management, change management, security, engineering, government work and disaster recovery; and predicted modelers are found in industries ranging from meteorology to insurance.
Predictive modeling falls under the larger analytics umbrella of data mining. Information is collected and a statistical model is created that helps teams identify patterns to develop predictions. Those models are either validated or modified when additional data becomes available for inclusion in the model. Predictive models range from simple, linear equations through complex neural networks.
How to Break into Predictive Analytics
As is the case with many jobs in big data, there is no single path to professional success. However, most predictive modelers have achieved one – if not two – master’s degrees. Advanced technical knowledge is required to enter the field, but business knowledge is equally important. It is extremely common for predictive analytics professionals to hold an MBA in addition to their advanced computer science, analytics or business intelligence degree.
Many analytics pros come from other IT backgrounds, and leverage their knowledge to achieve certifications and advanced degrees that help them break into the field. For IT pros looking to switch their area of focus, a great way to get your feet wet with predictive modeling is to work at a small company that might be more apt to giving a less-experienced data professional exposure to projects that will lay the foundation for future modeling work. It can also be useful to get involved in professional organizations to help you build a network and to have access to seminars, trainings and other development opportunities.
Predictive Modeling Salaries and Career Outlook
According to Indeed, the average national salary for predictive modelers across all skill levels, job titles and industries is $117,000. Opportunities and salaries will vary and depend upon level of education, directly relevant industry experience, geographic location, business size, industry standards and professional experience beyond academia.
Job outlook is expected to be strong, with growth projected to outpace the national average for other positions as more and more industries begin to use predictive analytics to help them drive business decisions. The demand for analytic skills, like predictive modeling, is predicted to increase 13 percent by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though the demand will rise across most industries, healthcare and finance are expected to lead the way in terms of new job creation.
If you need to hire a Predictive Modeler, contact OnBoard today. We specialize in analytics recruiting in a variety of industries and have a nationwide reach in analytics recruiting.