How Operations Teams Use Demand Intelligence for Better Business Outcomes

Published on December 8, 2021
Valerie Williams
Content Marketing Manager

Leverage event data for better strategic decisions

Savvy operations teams know events drive demand. And without a source of reliable external data about these events, the picture is simply incomplete. When you know exactly when and at which sites to expect an influx in demand, you can staff appropriately and stock accordingly to save costs and ensure great service. 

With the help of demand intelligence, one of our customers in accommodation captured 800% more for their nightly rate, our retail customers are increasing labor forecast accuracy to 98% for hourly employees, and our restaurateurs are discovering their true quarterly costs of overstaffing.

Use demand intelligence in the way that best suits you

But what’s the best way to access insights into impactful events taking place near your business locations? Especially as most businesses are working with smaller teams and tighter budgets due to the pandemic. The answer will differ depending on the access your team has to developer and data science resources, but the good news is there are no code and low code solutions that work for companies big and small. Today, I want to walk you through how our customers use PredictHQ. 

No Code

If you want to make your business event-aware for more accurate demand planning, you don’t need to know how to code or be able to assign developers to integrate our API. PredictHQ’s no code solution is the ability to search our millions of events with targeted features to find the most relevant events for your locations. You can then display these in a list, or a calendar to your teams and use them in planning your staffing, inventory, and marketing campaigns.

Low Code

A more robust use of demand intelligence that requires some code to be written. Access the API and make calls yourself, or upload your own historical data for a custom report about which events most impacted your staffing, inventory, and sales in the past. See how events influenced your business before COVID-19, how these correlations have since changed, and accurately predict what will influence your demand moving forward.

Machine Learning Forecasting

For the data scientists and developers who are looking to use external data sets to incorporate into their forecasts, we offer an API where you can ingest our data directly into machine learning models. This is used by companies with significant data science teams and resources. We work with many different companies, including quick service restaurants and accommodation providers that have stores and hotels  across a wide range of locations. For these types of businesses, we work with data science teams to identify the most impactful events for specific and individual locations. We also can work alongside your team to build features through our Features API

Intelligent event data: verified, standardized, and ready to use

Today, we’re going to focus on the no code and low code ways to access PredictHQ. As mentioned above, you don’t need a developer or a data science team to make use of demand intelligence and to align your business strategy with relevant events happening near your locations. Here are three ways operations teams are leveraging no code and low code demand intelligence to get quick wins right now.

1. Search for relevant events around your locations

Use our Control Center dashboard to search by category, date, and location, right down to the longitude and latitude for laser focus. This level of detail gives you insight into: 

  • Venues– Instantly access accurate historical details about venues and even smaller venues within them that are actively driving demand for your business locations.

  • Start and end times– Plan your operations down to the minute with predicted end times for planned events that don’t list this information.

  • Predicted attendanceKnow which events matter most with PredictHQ's accurate attendance estimate models.

Once you’ve filtered to just the most relevant events, you can then share or visualize this data in a range of ways including a calendar or a list.

Calendar View

In the Control Center, you'll be able to toggle between list and calendar view. Calendar view gives you a visual overview of which days have the most and largest events. Click on any date to see a full list of events taking place that day, and click on any event for more details.

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List View

Many of our customers use our list view, which covers all the must-know details in one easy-to-read digest that you can share directly with your demand planners, store managers, and teammates. Use the list view for the full set of your search results with all of the event details laid out. In this view, you can see the event name, location, start and end dates and times, predicted attendance, and different ranks. 

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Click on +More Details to see time zone, an event description, and an option to leave feedback on that specific event if you’ve got thoughts to share.

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2. Combine demand intelligence with your existing BI tools 

Enable your team to prepare for surges in demand and minimize loss when dips in demand are coming. After exploring the event data in our Control Center, easily integrate our Demand Intelligence into your existing business intelligence tools for even more insight. Create charts and graphs to demonstrate patterns based on location, event category, and more to make better business decisions and discover opportunities to improve operational efficiency. 

Businesses across the globe and a wide variety of industries are already leveraging the outcomes of integrating high-quality external event data into their existing business intelligence software. Companies like Uber, Domino’s, and Amazon Alexa use demand intelligence to save millions on labor-related expenses by preventing under and overstaffing, tracking live TV events to stock enough ingredients in time for big games that drive demand, and enhancing user experience to inspire fierce brand loyalty. But those are just a few of many ways it can be used.

For example, let’s say you have a store location in Boston and you want a visual that shows all attendance-based events (like a hockey or basketball game, concert, expo, etc.) coming up next weekend. Select from 19 event categories, choose the time period, and the predicted attendance for a complete picture of what to expect. Use our free correlation analysis tool to identify the relationship between your historical demand and external event data to pinpoint which categories matter most to your business. The next time there’s an influx in demand coming up, you can update your planning, staffing, and pricing to maximize profits.

3. Get timely notifications for relevant alerts 

Set up event alerts to stay informed with the latest updates about events in the categories, locations, and times that matter most to your business. When a new event is created or announced, we collect it, verify it, and add it to our data set. If an event fits your selected criteria, you have the option to get an alert immediately as events become available, or as an hourly, daily, or weekly summary sent right to your email.

Operations teams can use this foresight to get ahead of unscheduled events like severe weather, which would mean a decrease in foot traffic for some businesses– and a spike for others where people are stocking up on necessities before a big storm. Or a protest, or political rally that could bring in a rush of hungry customers for quick serve restaurants along their footpath. Those managers would be notified of what’s to come, ensure enough staff coverage, and plan to stock up on the ingredients or products that usually fly off their shelves.

For example, centralized operations teams that often track demand across entire regions, or even country-wide. With notifications, they can receive an alert whenever a specific location, city, or state reaches a certain threshold of demand. This gives these teams the foresight to reach out to sites in those areas to prepare for those individual events driving demand in those locations.

What kind of value can you unlock with more insight into what’s driving demand for your business? Find out by starting your free 14-day trial now!