You Don't Need To Be A Weatherman To Know Which Way Jon Mandel Will Blow

When it comes to the subject of predictive analytics, Mandel says it’s actually more scientific than, well, science. In the case of his OMMA DDM panel discussion, Mandel compared predictive analytics to the science of meteorology -- you know, weather forecasting.

“Weather forecasters are right half the time -- three quarters of the time,” Mandel quipped, adding, “Did you ever hear of a weather person getting fired?” By contrast, Mandel implied, a predictive analyst would get fired if they missed one of their predictions because of the real-world trade-offs, and dollars and cents, involved.

I’m not sure if Mandel was around when WeatherFX’s Vikram Somaya was around earlier speaking on a panel I moderated, but I think he would’ve taken exception to Mandel’s comparison -- mainly because WeatherFX utilizes meteorological data to scientifically predict outcomes for marketers. No, Somaya is not a weatherman, but he uses their data to inform marketers so they can make better decisions.

That sounds a lot like what Mandel’s PrecisionDemand does.

“Predictive analysis essentially empowers those people who don’t eat and sleep analytics to make appropriate decisions based on the trade-offs,” Mandel said when asked to define the practice earlier. Mainly, he says he’s using it to make TV decisions better and to use it to influence things beyond TV ratings -- you know, sales, product, distribution, the whole magilla.

“There’s always a medium that’s behind in research, and all the money flows out of there,” Mandel added, summoning his previous agency media spirits.

“Television, thanks to the goddess of of inertia -- the Nielsen Company, has some of the worst measurement,” he added, issuing a summons to his previous employer. “[It’s} a very blunt instrument.”