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Dr. Nabil Abu El Ata: How businesses can make better critical forward-looking decisions

Accretive Technologies Inc. offers highly accurate predictive and prescriptive business analytic capabilities to help organizations thrive in the face of increasing pressures to innovate, contain costs and grow. By leveraging the power of Accretive’s smart analytics platform and advisory services, global leaders in financial, telecommunications, retail, entertainment, services and government markets gain the foresight they need to make smart transformation decisions and maximize the performance of organizations, processes and infrastructure. Founded in 2002 with headquarters in New York, NY and offices in Omaha, NE and Paris, France, Accretive is a privately owned company with over 350 customers worldwide.

Rake Narang: How can businesses make better critical forward-looking decisions?

Dr. Nabil Abu El Ata: The speed of modern business—which is fueled by 24/7 global operations, rapid technol­ogy advances and growing competitive pressures—drives shortened business cycles and continuous adaptation. Under these circumstances it is increasingly difficult for executives to accurately assess the potential impact of critically important decisions. As a result, business leaders are often surprised when the results of their decisions produce undesirable consequences.

Hidden, un­known factors—or more precisely, interactions between factors—can unexpectedly im­pact the perfor­mance of business and IT systems or cause cost inflation. When the influences of these factors are not meas­ured and understood, new never seen before behaviors can come as unwelcomed surprises. To make better decisions, businesses must have a unified view of the dynamic factors that drive cost and performance across disparate systems, processes and business units, as well as, the ability to identify strategic opportunities that have the potential to boost the organization’s flexibility, responsiveness and efficiency. But the millions upon millions of dynamic system interactions that support 24/7 business on a global scale are becoming too complex and multi-dimensional for humans to even compre­hend let alone effectively manage.

Fortunately today’s computer systems and mathematics are powerful enough, and sophisticated enough, to broadly consider all dimensions of complex systems. Inevitably, the sounding board for business decisions will be an organic, evolv­ing database that can be used to understand and control dynamically complex business and IT systems. Companies with the most mature analyt­ics practices will establish market leadership because of their ability to act quickly and make smart forward-looking decisions.

About Dr. Nabil Abu El Ata

Rake Narang: Why are traditional statistical predictive analytics solutions failing?

Dr. Nabil Abu El Ata: As businesses continue to morph to meet emerging market demands at a faster and faster rate, the millions of dy­namic system interactions that support global business are becoming too complex to manage using statistical meth­ods of predictive analytics. Statistical analytics take a point-in-time view of business and use past behavior patterns to infer what might happen in the future.

These methods can be useful for low stake decisions or when outcomes continuously fol­low previously encountered patterns whereby only the parameters—like volumes and product mixes—change. But making high stake management decisions in dynamic environ­ments based on probability can be dangerous. Today, unknown and never-experi­enced conditions are appearing at an accelerat­ing rate as the dynamics and complexity of businesses continue to evolve. At the same time technology advancements are inducing rapid change and compressing the time available to react to that change. The economic meltdown of 2008 is a prime example of the failings of statistical methods to accurately predict future events, but the same type of ‘surprises’ are appearing with increasing frequency in businesses.

To thrive in today’s competitive business climate, decision makers need a forward-looking approach that better aligns with the goals and realities of the modern business era. Businesses need predictive analytics tools they can depend on to know what’s coming next and more importantly they need to know which actions should be taken to reduce risk and maximize opportunities. Only advanced forms of mathematics are capable of providing reliable insights that are truly forward-looking.

Rake Narang: What is the Accretive's X-Act Platform and how does it effectively help analyze business risks and outcomes?

Dr. Nabil Abu El Ata: X-Act is a cloud-based service that combines highly accurate mathematical modeling with next generation predictive and prescriptive analytics. These capabilities help businesses fully explore and identify opportuni­ties for improved performance and efficiency while providing understanding of the future ramifications of decisions before actions are taken.

By consolidating data from diverse sources across the organization, X-Act provides a unified view of business performance in real-time with clear and immediate visibility into any current or future inefficiency or risk factors that may destabilize systems or inhibit cost management objectives. X-Act goes beyond statistical methods with the ability to predict behaviors that have never been seen before—diagnosing the consequences and providing prescriptive recommendations. The findings, contained in the clear graphical displays, are delivered to individuals empowered to act on the intelligence.

As a lower cost and faster time-to-value alternative to business analytics solutions that depend upon high priced and time intensive consulting services, X-Act cloud-based services are backed by a growing library containing over 7500 pre-built models and templates to help customers (even those without previous predictive analytics experience) quickly achieve demonstrable value within in as little as 8 to 10 weeks. These technologies and methodologies have been purposefully built over the last decade and are trusted by leading global organizations to solve complex business challenges, such as cost management and production optimization, by accurately predicting future behaviors and proposing the best actions to optimize even the most complex business systems, reduce risk and strategically prepare for the future.

Rake Narang: Which types of businesses need smart predictive analytic solutions the most?

Dr. Nabil Abu El Ata: I would say businesses need smart predictive analytics if they want to operate better, faster or leaner. Really any business with either global operations or dynamic processes that are subject to change—whether it be through growth, cost sensitivity, technology advances or simply competition—will benefit from our approach to predictive analytics. X-Act is much like a medical doctor—companies can use it to either confirm and maintain the health of their organization or to diagnose and find cures for any maladies or symptoms they may be experiencing.

With the current economic uncertainty and grow­ing competitive threats, business leaders are increasingly called upon to discover new ways to innovate, contain costs and grow. But the complexity of modern business creates obstacles that hinder the optimal execution of business strategy and plans. Predictive analytics are needed to apply forward-looking insights and remedial actions at the right time to ensure the highest level of performance. This is exactly what X-Act was designed to achieve. We’ve helped companies modernize IT systems, supply chains and business architectures. We’ve helped merging global companies decide the best plan of action to consolidate operations. And we’ve helped companies cut production costs while improving quality and time to deliver. Today market leadership is won by businesses that execute processes, deliver results and acceler­ate strategy—faster than competitors with more predictability and better economy. Most medium to large businesses will need modern predictive analytics to maintain the right path in today’s dynamically complex world.

Company: Accretive Technologies
330 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10017 U.S.A.

Founded in: 2003
CEO: Dr. Nabil Abu El Ata
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: United States
Products and Services: X-Act

Company’s Goals: To allow corporations, individuals, industries and institutions to build the future through mathematical predictive analytics by minimizing the risk, controlling operations and reducing the impact of growth in dynamic complexity
Key Words: Predictive analytics, decision analytics, prescriptive analytics, business analytics, big data analytics, predictive modeling, cost management, performance optimization, business optimization, performance management
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