If You Are Not Using Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative – Buy ‘til You Die (BTYD)… You Should Be

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Looking to grow your start up or your company but not sure where to start? Have you heard of or used Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative?

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI), a research center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, have announced the release of their Buy Til You Die Models (BTYD) Package.

In a press release issued by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the new BTYD Package comes from the R Project for Statistical Computing, a  free software environment for both graphics and statistical computing. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is mostly recognized on a global scale for intellectual leadership. They are also known for an ongoing innovation across major disciplines of business education.

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative— known mainly as WCAI— is known as a distinguished academic research center. It focuses mainly on the development and application of customer analytic methods.

What Does It Do?

The BTYD package comprises of functions for data preparation, parameter estimation, scoring, and plotting for both the BG/BB and Pareto/NBD models. Those models were originally propagated by Pete Fader, Co-Academic Director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative and a Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School; and Bruce Hardie, Professor of Marketing at the London Business School. The models are used to evaluate the customer lifetime value of an individual in non-contractual scenarios.

Any analyst or researcher working in the area of customer analytics should have the aforementioned models as part of their toolkit. Existing MATLAB- and Excel-based implementations of the Pareto/NBD and BG/BB models have been used by analysts and researchers to demonstrate their power and value in a variety of business settings. This package will make these models accessible to a wider audience of analysts and researchers and make it easier for others to use the models on a production basis.

What Is The Goal?

One of the key goals of WCAI is to put innovations previously developed by academics into the hands of the broader analytics community. With the BTYD package, there’s a group of sophisticated methods for forecasting customer lifetime value accessible to a broad range of practitioners and students. WCAI hopes to expand the program to develop a series of software packages that would make cutting-edge methods for other problems, such as advertising attribution or product recommendations, easier to use in practice.

The release of the BTYD package marks the start of WCAI forging the path to not only empower analytics practitioners with advanced analytics tools through public platforms such as the R Project but also enable researchers to see their models implemented in an accessible way.