Fighting Churn With Data
Fighting Churn With Data


Customer churn is the bane of online businesses, and data can help you understand the causes of churn and take action to reduce it. But there are many misconceptions about churn and pitfalls in actually using data driven insights to reduce churn. Usually, a standard predictive churn model provides little benefit! This is because interventions to reduce churn must be targeted by the causes of churn and those interventions are undertaken by diverse actors within the organization, all using separate tools and processes. The solution is for the data scientist to focus on feature engineering and to scientifically discover a powerful set of customer metrics that explain churn and engagement in a way that is interpretable to the business people. With great customer metrics, all teams focused on churn will speak the same language and be able to devise effective segments for interventions. Investment in feature engineering will also lead to an interpretable predictive model that is as accurate as possible, up to the limits imposed by the noisy and unbalanced nature of churn. This presentation will teach attendees a concise roadmap to fighting churn with data, point out important pitfalls at every step, and illustrate with real case study examples. The focus of the talk is on the discovery of powerful data driven features that reveal the value created for customers and are usable throughout an organization. These insights are based on the dozens of predictive churn analyses Dr. Gold has done for customers of Zuora as Chief Data Scientist, and features material from his forthcoming book: Fighting Churn With Data. For more information see; electronic early access to the book is already available at


Currently the Chief Data Scientist at Zuora (, Carl has a PhD from the California Institute of Technology and has first author publications in leading Machine Learning and Neuroscience journals. Before coming to Zuora, he spent most of his post-academic career as a quantitative analyst on Wall Street. Now a data scientist, Carl is currently writing a book about using insights from data to reduce customer churn, to be released in 2020 entitled "Fighting Churn With Data". You can find more information at

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