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Predict iQ

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About Predict iQ

When customers leave a company, we’re often caught off-guard. If only we’d known this customer was at-risk, then maybe we could’ve reached out to them before they totally lost their faith in us. If only there were a way to predict the likelihood that a customer will churn (leave the company).

Predict iQ learns from respondents’ survey responses and embedded data in order to predict whether the respondent will eventually churn. Then when new survey responses come in, Predict iQ can predict how likely those survey respondents are to churn in the future. To predict if a customer will churn, Predict iQ uses Neural Networks (a subset of which are called Deep Learning) and Regression to build candidate models. It tries variations of those different models for each dataset and then chooses the model that best fits the data.

Preparing Your Data

Before you create a churn prediction model, you’ll want to make sure your data is ready.

Predict iQ works best when you have at least 500 respondents who have churned. However, 5,000 churned respondents or more will get you the best results.

Setting Up a Churn Variable

  1. In the survey where you want to predict Churn, go to the Survey Flow.
    Inside a survey, the Survey Flow is indicated
  2. Click Add a New Element Here.
    The Survey Flow is opened and an Embedded Data element is being added
  3. Select Embedded Data.
  4. It will ask you to enter a field name. You can enter whatever field name you like. Here, we chose the straightforward Churn.
  5. Click Save Flow.
  6. You may also want to repeat this same process for other data that you’d like to bring in, particularly operational data that might be useful in predicting churn (e.g., Tenure or Number of Purchases).

Recording Data

Once you have a churn variable, you can import historical data into your survey, including a column for Churn where you indicate with Yes or No whether the customer churned.

Creating a Churn Prediction Model

Once your churn variable is set up and you have enough data, you are ready to open Predict iQ.

  1. Inside your survey, click Data & Analysis.
    Navigating to Predict iQ
  2. Select Predict iQ.
  3. Click Create Churn Prediction Model.
    Navigating to create churn prediction model
  4. Select the variable you made in the previous section. In this example, it’s called Churn.
    Qtip: Predict iQ only predicts outcomes that have two possible choices, such as Yes/No or True/False. It does not predict numeric outcomes (e.g., a 1-7 scale) or categorical outcomes with more than two values (e.g., Yes/Maybe/No).

    Create Churn Prediction Model window

  5. Select the value that indicates the customer churned.
    Example: Because in this example our variable is named Churn, someone with Churn equal to Yes has churned. But let’s say you named your variable Staying with our company instead. Then No would indicate that the person was not staying with the company, and has churned.
  6. Select variables to exclude from the model. For example, if you have a variable measuring “Reason for Churn” in your historical data, you might want to exclude that from the analysis, since it won’t be available for new respondents when the prediction is being made.
    Qtip: You can exclude multiple variables. Click the X next to a variable to remove it from the list of excluded variables.
    Variable loaded into the field for exclusion
  7. Click Create.
Qtip: Your predictive churn model may take some time to finish calculating. You can navigate away from the page to work on other projects or websites without losing your progress.

Once your prediction model is complete, the Predict iQ page will be replaced with information on the churn prediction model you just created.

Variable Information

The Predict which of your customers will churn section gives the name of your Churn Embedded Data variable and the value that indicates a customer is likely to churn.

This section also lists your excluded variables and allows you to reset your prediction model so you can create a new one. Click Start Over to remove the current report and create another prediction model.

A header says Predict which of your customers will churn. Below in large blue letters is Churn: Yes

Prediction Drivers

The Prediction Drivers are the variables that were analyzed in order to create your prediction model, ordered by their importance in predicting churn. This includes any variable that wasn’t excluded from the analysis. In the example below, NPS scores and Reliability ratings drive the churn prediction.

A header says Model diagnostics. The chart is called Prediction Drivers and shows them

Click Show other drivers to expand the list.

Qtip: To create this chart, each variable is run in a simple logistic regression against the churn variable. The highest r-squared value is set to 1, and the other variables’ values are scaled accordingly. For example, if the highest r-squared is 0.5, then each variable’s bar length will be r-squared * 2, where the bar length is 1.

The chart is therefore an indicator of the relative strength of the variables in predicting churn, and is not multivariate in nature. A rating of each variable’s impact on a deep learning algorithm-based model’s output is an area of active academic research, with no accepted best practice at this point.

Prediction Metrics

Predict iQ “holds out” (sets aside) 10% of the data before creating the model. After the model is created, it creates predictions for that 10%. It then compares its predictions to what actually happened, whether those customers indeed churned. Those results are used to power the below accuracy metrics. Note that while this is an effective best-practice method for estimating the model’s accuracy, it is not a guarantee of the future accuracy of the model.

A table with 3 columns, one for each percentage, labeled Prediction Metrics.

  • Accuracy: The proportion of the model’s predictions that will be accurate.
  • Precision: The proportion of customers predicted to churn who will actually churn.
  • Recall: The proportion of those who actually churned that the model predicted ahead of time would do so.
Example: In this screenshot, the model’s predictions will be accurate 88.9% of the time. It is precise enough that 82.4% of the customers predicted to churn will churn. The recall metric indicates that the model will correctly identify an estimated 29.8% of the customers who will actually churn.

Click Advanced Output below the Predictive Metrics to reveal the Confusion Matrix and Advanced Prediction Metrics.

Precision and Recall

Precision and recall are the most important prediction metrics. They have an inverse relationship, and so you often have to think about the trade-off between knowing exactly which customers will churn and knowing that you’ve identified all or most of the customers likely to churn.

Example: Imagine if you followed up with every single customer. You’d definitely reach out to everyone who churns (100% recall) but you’d waste a lot of resources and time on customers who were never considering leaving (low precision). On the other hand, if you only follow up with the single individual who is most likely to churn, you’ll likely have 100% precision, but you’ll miss a lot of customers who will ultimately churn (very low recall).

Configure Threshold

Click Configure threshold to set a threshold for when a customer should be labeled as likely to churn. This threshold percentage is the individual likelihood to churn.

Example: The model produces an estimate of the churn likelihood of any one customer. Imagine there are three customers, with churn likelihoods of 10%, 40%, and 75%. If the threshold is set at 30%, both the 40% and the 75% customers are marked as likely to churn and will therefore receive an email or a phone call. If the threshold is set at 50%, though, only the 75% customer is marked as likely to churn.

The Configure threshold button next to the table opens a side menu on the right

Click and drag the dot on the graph to adjust the threshold, or type a threshold % and observe how the graph changes. When you’re finished, click Set Threshold to save your changes. You can also cancel changes by clicking Cancel on the lower-right or the X on the upper-right.

Adjusting the threshold adjusts the Precision along the y-axis and the Recall along the x-axis. These metrics have an inverse relationship. The more precise your measurements, the lower the recall, and vice versa.

Qtip: Adjusting the threshold changes how future data is collected when you have Create a prediction whenever a new respondent completes this survey selected in the Real-time predictions section at the bottom of the Predict iQ page. In order to overwrite the Churn data of your previous model, you will need to delete your Churn variable and add a new one. Thresholds do not affect the Churn Probability variable, just the binary Yes/No.

Confusion Matrix

When Predict iQ builds a prediction model, it “holds out” (or sets aside) 10% of the data. To check the accuracy of the model generated, the data from the new model is run against the 10% holdout. This serves as a comparison of what is predicted and what “actually happened.”

Confusion Matrix table. Predicted no churn, predicted churn, and total along the top. Actual no churn, actual churn, total along the left. Percentages highlighted in green and red

  • Actual No Churn / Predicted No Churn: The percentage of customers the model predicted wouldn’t churn, who actually did not churn.
  • Actual Churn / Predicted No Churn: The percentage of customers the model predicted wouldn’t churn, who conversely did churn.
  • Actual No Churn / Predicted Churn: The percentage of customers the model predicted would churn, who conversely did not churn.
  • Actual Churn / Predicted Churn: The percentage of customers the model predicted would churn, who actually did churn.

Numbers are green to to indicate that you want those numbers to be as high as possible, as they reflect correct guesses. Numbers are red to indicate that you want these numbers to be low, as they reflect incorrect guesses.

You can adjust the matrix between Percent and Count. This Count includes the 10% of your data held out, not the full data set.

Advanced Prediction Metrics

This table displays additional prediction metrics.

Advanced Prediction Metrics table. Metrics to the left with bars showing percentages on the right

  • Precision: The proportion of customers predicted to churn who will actually churn.
  • Recall: The proportion of those who actually churned that the model predicted ahead of time would do so.
  • Accuracy: The proportion of the model’s predictions that will be accurate.
  • F1-Score: The F1 Score is used to select a threshold that balances precision with recall. A higher F1 score is generally better, though the correct place to set the threshold should be determined by your business goals.
  • Area Under Precision-Recall Curve: The Precision-Recall curve is the same one you observe on the graph when you click Configure threshold. The total area under the curve is a measure of the overall accuracy of the model (regardless of where you set the threshold). An area under the curve of 50% is equal to random chance; 100% is perfectly accurate.

Make Predictions

Real-time Predictions

A real-time prediction updates as data comes into the survey. In this section, you can decide when these prediction updates take place.

Two settings under the real-time predictions tab

  • Create a prediction whenever a new respondent completes this survey: This setting enables real-time predictions. You will have two more columns in your data: Churn Probability, the likelihood to churn in a decimal format; and Churn Prediction, a Yes/No variable. The Churn Prediction is based on the threshold configured.
  • Delay prediction: This option appears when the first option is selected. You can decide when the system refreshes and includes new data.
    Qtip: If your data includes Embedded Data pulled from a non-survey source, the data may not arrive in Qualtrics immediately after the survey is completed. If that data is important to predictions, you may want to wait until it has loaded so it can be included.

Batch Prediction

In addition to analyzing the responses you’ve collected in your survey, you can also upload a specific data file that you want Predict iQ to assess.

File selection under the batch prediction tab

To get a template the file, click Batch prediction template for this model.

When you have finished editing your file in Excel and are ready to re-upload it, click Choose File to select the file. Then click Make Predictions to start the analysis.

Qtip: Having trouble with your template file? See the CSV/TSV Upload Issues page.

Churn Data

In the Data section of the Data & Analysis tab, you can export your data as a convenient spreadsheet. After your prediction model has loaded, you will have additional columns for churn data on this page.

predict data with two columns of churn probability and churn prediction

  •  Churn Probability: The likelihood to churn in a decimal format. Appears when real-time prediction has been enabled and is based off the threshold set.
  • Churn Prediction: A Yes/No variable confirming or denying Churn based on the threshold set. Appears when real-time prediction has been enabled.

Note that churn probabilities and predictions are only applied to new survey results. Previously existing responses will not have churn probabilities and predications added to them.

Qtip: Once you’ve created these variables, they can be analyzed using Results-Reports or Advanced-Reports, just like any other variable.