Machine learning seems to be the buzz right now and in many cases it appears to be getting confused or used interchangeably with things like analytics, predictive analytics and personalization. However, it is different.
Think of it as a way of doing something
The easiest way of understanding the difference is to think of Machine Learning as a way of doing something and Predictive Analytics being just one of the applications of such a technique. Predictive Analytics is the what you do and Machine Learning is the how you do it.
Predictive Analytics is about what to do, and trying to determine from data what actions a user may take.
Machine Learning is about how to extract meaning from data, and using computers to build models that uncover patterns and suggest actions. And this can be in real-time with very fast generation of results.
At Granulytic, we are using some exciting new Machine Learning techniques to help retailers figure out what actions to take and the models we have built get better over time as we collect and analyze more and more data. I know I said as “we” collect, but I really mean the machines!