Cover story book excerpt on IBM's application of predictive models
BusinessWeek's 2006 Cover Story, "Math Will Rock Your World," announced a new age of numbers. With the rise of new networks, the story argued, all of us were channeling the details of our lives into vast databases. Every credit-card purchase, every cell-phone call, every click on the computer mouse fed these digital troves. Those with the tools and skills to make sense of them could begin to decipher our movements, desires, diseases, and shopping habits—and predict our behavior. This promised to transform business and society. In a book expanding upon this Cover Story, The Numerati, Senior Writer Stephen Baker introduces us to the mathematical wizards who are digging through our data to decode us as patients, shoppers, voters, potential terrorists—even lovers.