#WOTW: Prescriptive Analytics – (as distinguished from both Descriptive and Prescriptive) is the aspirational stuff. Very few, in HR or other disciplines, can do anything with this just yet. Predictive analytics already looks into the future. Prescriptive work applies similar techniques only to greater levels of complexity. We assume it will rely on more data and real-time feedback sources and greater machine learning capabilities to achieve. The difference is that prescriptives will show us multiple futures and advise us as to our actions, with reasoning. Again, our HR example is staffing levels. A prescription would be to recommend that so many FTEs in different role types are deployed in a given future period, because other options have been analysed and look less optimum, and that this is because of the link between extra workers in role A having an impact on business performance on factor B, offset by the opportunity cost of other rostering plans you could have put in place.