What is Demand Intelligence?

Campbell Brown
CEO & Co-Founder

Demand forecasting is the foundation for successful business. It’s the difference between yield and waste. Between growth and struggling. It’s make or break. It’s also really hard.

It informs every key business strategy. When done well, it enables a company to improve its supply chain and inventory management, optimize labor plans, price more effectively as well as create targeted dynamic pricing plans.

Demand forecasters today have better tools than ever to help them know how fluctuations in demand will impact their business and how to deal with these changes. What’s been missing from demand forecasting is the ability to know the why behind each anomaly.

Knowing the why is crucial. Without it, teams can’t proactively predict demand spikes or reliably make the best decisions. Teams have to guess what caused a sudden demand increase — so they can hopefully prepare for it better next time. But even the best guessing often leads to errors – and you can’t guess and check your way to a successful global business.

Demand intelligence unlocks that why. It’s breakthrough context that reveals why your demand fluctuates – so you can take control. It means no more guessing – and hoping for better next time. It means you know exactly when next time is, so you aren’t relying on luck to take advantage of a spike or mitigate a drop.

It means being able to see what’s coming – so you’re always prepared.

Context to make faster and smarter decisions

Demand intelligence is the context that unlocks opportunities that have been hiding in plain sight. This context enables forecasters to make smarter decisions. It’s about being able to understand why your demand fluctuates at every location that matters to you, all over the world.

PredictHQ exists to reveal the catalysts of demand for every business. We’ve started with intelligent event data because real-world events drive trillions of dollars in demand.

For example, RideLondon brings 280,000 people and $32 million to the city each year. And that’s only one event. We find, verify and enrich more than 20 million events across 30,000 cities.

Our demand intelligence is used by world-leading companies. For example:

  • Leading ride sharing services use it to notify drivers when and where they should be before demand kicks in, so they can reduce pick-up times and improve customer satisfaction.

  • Global food retailers use it to identify demand fluctuations that require revised staffing and ingredient plans. This minimizes waste and wait times, as well as unnecessary marketing spend.

  • Airline customers use it to track events on its key routes each month to better manage inventory and pricing strategies.

  • Accommodation behemoths use it to identify busy times and quieter times to price and update marketing accordingly.

Correlating events to demand unlocks opportunities hiding in plain sight

All of these use cases are just the beginning of how demand intelligence can transform a business. Better demand forecasting influences everything in a business. As a company unlocks the power of demand intelligence, major efficiency savings can be found throughout the supply chain as well as opportunities ready to be seized.

As soon as a company has achieved correlation between their historical data and our verified event data, they can stop guessing why they experienced a sudden demand increase because they can identify its cause directly. And once you’ve learned that a large but otherwise obscure conference or concert or sports game or observance you had never heard of drives business for you, you know it will again.

An event’s footprint is broader than many realize. In fact, many of our customers discovered events they were missing entirely – because their competitors were better prepared and capturing most of the demand.

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Event ranking to cut through the noise

Critical to each and every customer’s use case is our proprietary ranking technology. With almost a half a million events identified every month, teams need a way to know which events matter most immediately.

Our ranking systems assign a log-scaled number between 0 to 100 that captures the impact on demand each event is expected to produce. These are calculated through a series of complex machine learning models. We have three ranking systems and many more planned:

  • PHQ Rank™  – indicates an event’s general predicted impact.

  • Local Rank™ – indicates an event’s predicted impact on its particular location, such as a city or town.

  • Aviation Rank™ – indicates an event’s predicted impact on flight bookings.

These intelligence layers are what turns event data into demand intelligence. The rankings systems are the most obvious intelligence layer for our users, but there are hundreds of smart systems powering PredictHQ.

These sort through huge tranches of data to turn messy and error-riddled event data from hundreds of sources into smart context your company can trust.

A quick glimpse at a handful of PredictHQ’s systems:

  • Identify if an event is real

  • Identify similar records and which is most trustworthy, even when they have different names or locations (or both)

  • Identify which real events will drive people movement

  • Recognize if an event is recurring

  • Using NLP (natural language processing) and machine learning to extract all useful features of events

  • Categorize events into what type they are to better identify volume of people movement

  • NLP processing to classify events into niche subtypes to identify their exact predicted impact

  • Build and train machine learning models to understand different kinds of events and the impact they generate

  • Check and correct geocoding details of events

And that’s only a fraction of what our data processing pipeline does. The pipeline that powers our demand intelligence API consisting of many machine learning models and a lot of feature engineering to get the best features that provide the richest data to rank events and determine impact for you. We do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

Looking to the future of demand intelligence

It’s why PredictHQ doesn’t really have a competitor.  It’s also why the handful of our customers that attempted to build this on their own came back swiftly, having lost a lot of time and money to learn just how complicated demand intelligence is to create.

Demand intelligence is about taking your planning, forecasting and budgeting into a faster, smarter and better era. It frees your team up to get back to doing your core business – while we ensure your teams know your company’s demand catalysts well in advance.

Correlating real-world events at a specific spatial level is where we are now. However, with time, the PredictHQ correlation engine and demand prediction capabilities will eventually move up to macro level events.

Right now, we’re unlocking the world’s events. Our global coverage across 19 event categories (and counting) means we can tailor access to each customer’s needs. Get in touch with our team to discover how demand intelligence could transform your business today.