The world around us is changing. One of the most important things is we’re getting more and more data. Things are beginning to run on data. We have a data-rich society and we’re familiar with some of this.
Through Machine Learning Algorithms we have the ability to see the pulse of the society and measure it using these new big data sources has been very exciting for a lot of people. We’re entering a world that’s really highly instrumented, by using this big data where we can cure problems and detect problems very early on using these big data sources.
Behavioural Analytics uses machine learning and big data sources to understand and predict behaviour, it is a powerful approach for understanding humans. The key insight is that people’s behavior is not a function of what goes on in their brain so much, as it is to what the people around them do. We learn mostly from other humans. That’s what we call culture. When we see people doing something, if it looks like a good idea, we copy it, it’s human nature. It’s not something that came from inside your head, it came from copying other people and the consequence, is that ideas flow from person, to person, to person. Social learning, copying other people, talking to other people, causes ideas to flow around in society or within a company.
And once we begin realizing this, we have a different approach to understanding what people want and what they’re likely to do. For instance, if we wanted to understand what sort of apps somebody would do we could go and say, well, they’re this old and earn this much money and things like that, but sometimes what we can do is look what their buddies do. And if we see their buddies all using some particular app on their smartphone it’s a sure bet that they will too. In fact, in comparing the sort of demographic approach, individual features versus the social physics social features, we find that often there’s a five times better accuracy in predicting what people will do by paying attention to the social context than you could get from paying attention to individual features. That, right there, is a real revolution in analysis. Behavioural Analytics focuses on using big data to understand and predict human behavior based on their social context as well as traditional demographic measures.