Demand forecasts are the foundation of many business decisions, whether expectations for the future are based upon quantitative information, qualitative information, intuition, or other means. As the quantity and quality of information continues to expand, we have an opportunity to expand our perspectives regarding the factors influencing and driving demand, as well as the process by which purchase decisions are made. Predictive Analytics moves beyond the patterns of demand and facilitates a view into a more behavior-based understanding of our customers, their interests and needs, and their consumption of our products and services. This is an emerging and developmental approach to getting a more complete view of the future for use in business decision processes. This article represents an introductory acquaintance and overview for the reader with changing conditions that have facilitated the emergence of Predictive Analytics, the models being used, and the venues in which they have been applied. The challenge will be for demand forecasters and demand planners to take advantage of this expanding potential for greater robustness in their view of future demand and how to influence ...

From Issue: Revolutionary and Evolutionary Approaches to Leveraging Predictive Business Analytics
(Winter 2014-2015)

Predictive Analytics: An Opportunity for Better Demand Planning and Forecasting