A CPG Tale – Weather forecasts. Sales forecasts. Let data show you the connection.

A Problem Worth Solving

CPG enterprises understand that as the accuracy with which they can forecast sales gets better, so does their competitive advantage. That’s why they constantly seek to understand causal relationships. Pricing and sales. Promotions and sales. Politics and sales. Even weather and sales. Connecting the dots unpinning several factors that can potentially drive sales, they know, can empower them to make informed business decisions quickly. And yet the precision of these connections and ensuing predictions are critical, and also the most challenging to achieve.

Finding & Framing the Real Problem

The real problem, for CPG firms, is to develop the means to automatically identify all the key drivers that influence sales, establish causality analytics for each, while considering the landscape holistically, and make forecasts for sales with proven accuracy.

Solving the Problem

Build a solution with a ‘What-if Calculator’ at its core, that allows users to simply enter values against parameters - like proposed discount or mean temperature of the week - to determine its impact on expected sales data - with greater than 90% accuracy. It comprises:

  • Causality analytics

    Advanced causality analytics that helps evaluate a broad set of variables - based on historical performance – to uncover each of its impact on future sales. The system incorporates algorithms that help business users visualize cause-and-effect relationships of several parameters. For instance, category managers can explore price elasticity and determine the price point for sales promotion of a popular soap brand based on the threshold of pricing in the past. Similarly, business users can forecast the sales volume of sunscreen lotions and moisturizers based on usage during summer and winter.

  • Smart automation

    The solution leverages machine learning for statistical analysis of diverse and complex datasets. This means the entire repository of your past and current data can be leveraged to determine outcomes against every individual user request - accurately, and within seconds - without the intervention of a data scientist.

  • Flexible application

    The solution can be easily oriented to suit the requirements of a specific business user or group within the enterprise. The solution is hosted on Alteryx Analytics Gallery, an analytics cloud platform that delivers business intelligence on the go. The solution also incorporates self-service functionalities to help users visualize business outcomes based on their unique needs and market dynamics. Pre-built and easy to maneuver screens and interactive visuals makes the user experience both convenient and intuitive.

The Outcomes

  • Planners gain visibility into causal relationships that impact sales forecast.
  • The deep insights derived can feed into strategies outside of sales too – like advertising and marketing.
  • With over 90% accuracy of data outcomes, planners can use it pervasively to determine price change, chart promotions, and even optimize the inventory.
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