Information technology is the primary driving force behind the current surge in productivity. To this point, it’s primarily been used to automate traditional tasks and enable communications. However, since the dawn of computing, business professionals have dreamed of one day using IT to harness the avalanche of raw data that flows all around us to dramatically improve decision making. Decision support systems emerged in the ’80s, followed by data mining in the ’90s, but neither the hardware nor the software was really able to deliver on the promise. But now, a new wave of technology called “predictive analytics” is finally showing some real promise. Where is this trend headed? What are the implications — and how can you make the most of it? We’ll show you.