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SPSS offers predictive analysis capabilities

Business intelligence software maker SPSS is merging its online analytics and data modeling apps to deliver predictive analysis and customer-profiling functionality to users.

In an effort to deliver customer-profiling and predictive analysis tools to users, business intelligence applications vendor SPSS Inc. is packaging its NetGenesis 6.0 Web analytics software with its Clementine 7.0 data mining platform.

Chicago-based SPSS is betting that the combined package, dubbed Predictive Web Analytics, will lure end users with the ability to tie together Web metrics and customer account data. The recently released NetGenesis 6.0 application offers the online metrics piece of the puzzle, while Clementine 7.0 garners historical information from databases. The combined package promises the ability to cross reference data from both applications to create more detailed customer profiles and build models of possible behavior.

SPSS identified online business news site as an existing user of the two products. Officials from said they use the tools to track site visitor activity and target marketing or subscription campaigns toward readers.

SPSS product manager for Web analytics Jay Henderson said the new package should give users increased ability to drive return on investment (ROI) in analytics by directly linking the applications to a data model. While Henderson believes the product will initially appeal to online retailers and Internet content outlets such as, he said that markets like the financial services industry are hungry for more powerful predictive tools.

"Any business that looks at the Web as an important channel recognizes the value of building capabilities to better monitor site usage and target products and services to users," Henderson said. "We understand that this is a nascent market, but we think this is a combination of mature applications that can work."

Henderson said that Predictive Web Analytics provides four fundamental analytical capabilities: segmentation of visitors based on behavior, tracking of content viewing and product-buying tastes, automatic identification of Web site usage trends, and prediction of visitors' potential buying or viewing habits.

According to at least one analyst, SPSS is carving a niche for itself in an emerging online predictive analytics sector. Bob Chatham, principal analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, said the Web analytics market will move in the direction of products such as Predictive Web Analytics, as users demand tools that deliver more detailed customer information.

"This puts [SPSS] in a great position to capitalize on demand for measuring customer data across channels," Chatham said. "You can't look at the market as simple Web measurement anymore; products like this have promise to move the process into true business intelligence, which is where this market will go."

SPSS officials said pricing for Predictive Web Analytics begins at $135,000, with additional charges for professional services. Rates scale up based on the size and complexity of the deployment, SPSS said.


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