Bol.com is a retail platform with over 12 million clients within the Netherlands and Belgium. To serve the wants of those clients, it’s important that our group offers correct forecasts to empower enterprise selections on a everyday foundation. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, on-line buying behaviour went by a serious shift and demand for important and non-essential merchandise swiftly elevated (see cbs).
After months of battling producing any affordable forecasts, we managed to design a characteristic which is ready to describe the dynamic adjustments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The addition of this characteristic permits us to offer dependable forecasts within the quick time period and roll-out state of affairs forecasting for the long run, supporting completely different domains throughout the enterprise. Our strategy is definitely interpretable and explainable to stakeholders, main to raised knowledge pushed selections.
In our forecasting panorama, we offer various kinds of gross sales forecasting, each on complete degree and likewise on product degree. These forecasts are then used on their very own for various functions throughout the organisation but in addition utilized by our group as the primary drivers for operational planning forecasting. The completely different forecasts depend on completely different time-series modelling methods, from linear fashions to gradient boosting algorithms. As such, it was vital for us to have an one-size-fits-all answer which may scale throughout the completely different modelling approaches.
We began with an in depth knowledge evaluation and studying on the data relating to COVID-19 restrictions to comprise the unfold of the virus. With this info we developed a severity index that translated the affect of the pandemic on our gross sales patterns. Our severity index ranges between 0 and 12, the place a 0 represents no COVID-19 associated restrictions and a 12 represents the tightest restrictions we encountered throughout the pandemic. Determine 1. reveals a illustration of the COVID-19 severity index.