How Predictive Analytics Can Save Zebras

Predictive Analytics Saves ZebrasPredictive analytics can be used to drive brand loyalty, create cross-sell as well as upsell opportunities, predict and manage operations and resources, and identify and target the best customers—not to mention in can help save zebras.

That’s right—save zebras. Last week we discussed unconventional uses of BI software but omitted saving zebras. Consider this post an addendum.

Marwell Wildlife, an international conservation charity and zoo in the U.K., is using predictive analytics technology, to help in its 15-year effort to save the Grevy’s zebra, an endangered species, whose population in the wild is estimated to be less than 2,500, according to this article in Baseline magazine. Marwell Wildlife is using predictive analytics to analyze various information from the field such as data from aerial surveys, camera traps and radio collars to understand the threats to the zebras as well as what could be done to increase their numbers and bring them back from the brink of extinction.

The organization also analyzed data from its survey of nomadic herdsmen in northern Kenya, home to most of the remaining Grevy’s zebras, and realized that the zebras needs weren’t compatible with the needs of the herdsmen. Marwell Wildlife loaded predictive analysis software on just one laptop, then drilled deeper into the survey data to gain insight into the effect of humans on the zebras.

Predictive analytics also enabled the organization to get a better understanding as to the reasons behind people’s attitudes and behaviors, so it could figure out where to focus its efforts to save the zebras, according to the article.

The analysis of its survey gave Marwell Wildlife a piece of valuable information that might aid in the effort to save the Grevy’s zebra—people hunted them for their fat, which they claim has medicinal value, rather than for food. By analyzing the data, the organization also learned that the people would use commercial medicine if it were available, which would help save them as well as the zebras.

Marwell Wildlife is also planning to increase its use of predictive analytics to bring in more donors. The organization’s small fund-raising team hopes to become more effective by analyzing its donor base to determine who gives to Marwell, when they give and why, according to the article.

OK, so maybe you don’t need to save any endangered species, but predictive analytics can help your business become more agile and operate much more efficiently.

To learn more about how predictive analytics can help your company outshine your competitors register for TIBCO’s annual customer and business partner conference TUCON 2011 in Las Vegas, Sept. 27-29. Make sure to check out the analytics sessions in the technology track.

Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team