Nick Radcliffe

Stochastic Solutions was founded by Nicholas Radcliffe to help companies with targeting and optimization.

Prior to founding Stochastic Solutions, Radcliffe founded and acted as Chief Technology Officer for Quadstone Limited, an Edinburgh-based software house that specialized in helping companies to improve their customer targeting. While there, he led the development of a radically new algorithmic approach to targeting direct marketing which has repeatedly proved capable of delivering dramatic improvements to the profitability of both traditional outbound and more modern inbound marketing approaches, in an approach known as uplift modelling. Quadstone was acquired by Portrait Software in late 2005.

Through working with many companies in financial services, telecommunications and other sectors, it became clear to Radcliffe that uplift modelling can provably increase the profitability of direct marketing for most large B2C companies. However, it became equally clear that there are many non-analytical challenges that prevent the majority of companies from being ready even to evaluate this approach at present, let alone to benefit from it. One of the founding visions of Stochastic Solutions is to help companies improve their approach to the systematic design and measurement of direct marketing activities in ways that bring immediate benefits while also preparing them to be able to evaluate properly the potentially huge benefits of adopting this radical new approach. The concepts around uplift modelling are discussed in his blog, The Scientific Marketer.

Radcliffe is also a Visiting Professor of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, working in the Operational Research group. His research has focused on the use of randomized (stochastic) approaches to optimization, and he was one of the early researchers in the now established field of genetic algorithms and evolutionary computation. He has over many years successfully applied stochastic methods to real-world industrial and commercial problems as diverse as retail dealership location, credit scoring, production scheduling and gas pipeline design, and has published several dozen research papers in the area. He has also, while at Quadstone, combined stochastic optimization with data mining to allow new classes of problems to be tackled.