According to a release Wednesday, Accenture and SAS announced a plan to jointly develop and implement a series of industry-specific predictive analytic applications, beginning with the financial services, healthcare and public service sector. Industry observers and the companies’ officials said the decision was made due to extraordinary demand and a rapid adoption of analytic techniques in both the public and private sectors.
Predictive analytics uses a variety of techniques from statistics, data mining and game theory that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events.
The joint venture, called the Accenture SAS Analytics Group, will partner SAS’s advanced analytics solutions with Accenture’s industry and applied analytics – addressing an “expertise gap by making more industry-specific analytic solutions available with project-based or managed service delivery,” said Henry Morris, senior vice president for IDC’s Worldwide Software and Services, a leading technology industry research firm. Morris said he expects the partnership will accelerate adoption of predictive analytics across a broader swath of organizations.
Accenture SAS Analytics will first focus on financial services, healthcare and public service industries, with cross-industry functional solutions for customer acquisition and retention and enterprise analytics. The industry-based solutions will help clients understand fraud and credit risks for banks and insurance companies or provide better claims and care management in healthcare.
For the public sector, there is broad application possible for predictive analytics. In law enforcement, analytics are already being used to track and predict where possible threats to national security will come from – both physical and cyber-based threats. Human services and revenue departments have successfully implemented analytics to identify and prevent fraud, waste and abuse. The cost savings derived from analytics solutions has already saved revenue departments and welfare agencies millions in avoided fraud. And in education, analytics are helping administrators understand retention and enrollment trends, as well as make sense of a host of performance data.
“During previous downturns, companies that thrived used data insights to produce lasting competitive advantage,” Dave Rich, managing director at Accenture Analytics, said in a statement. “Companies today can use predictive analytics to gain deeper insight that has not been previously obtainable, allowing decisions to be made more quickly and business performance to be improved.”