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Accenture and SAS team up for predictive analytics packages

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17th Feb 2010
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In a sign that the predictive analytics market is finally starting to move into the mainstream, Accenture and SAS have got together to jointly develop industry-specific packages for this space.

Predictive analytics technology has been around in one shape or form for years and, while in steady growth mode, has failed to set the world alight to date. But the two companies are hoping to change all of that, believing that the time is now right.

As a result, they have set up the Accenture SAS Analytics Group, which will focus initially on developing PA applications for financial services, healthcare, pharmaceutical and public sector organisations.

The aim is also to build horizontal packages aimed at boosting customer acquisition and retention and analysing enterprise performance data. Some offerings will likewise be sold under a managed service format.

William Green, Accenture’s chairman and chief executive, said: "Companies that use predictive analytics to derive actionable insights from data and then use those insights to shape decisions, can improve business outcomes and substantially outperform competitors over the long-term."

PA software takes large volumes of both historical and real-time information from different internal and third party sources, puts it through a statistical model and predicts likely outcomes based on a range of causal factors. It is used mostly by large data-rich enterprises such as financial services, telcos, pharmaceutical, retail and leisure firms today.

Such technology contrasts with the more commoditised end-user query, reporting and analytics software sector, which involves working with historical data to identify trends or patterns.

According to research undertaken by Accenture, a long-term goal of about two thirds of senior managers in both the UK and US is to be able to model and predict behaviour, actions and decisions to enable more effective real-time decision-making based on information they have to hand.

Accenture and SAS have worked together for 10 years on a range of different projects and include UBS and Norway Post in their joint customer bases.

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