D and B Ice Cream (a case study); published in 2007; 18 pages.
Sales forecasting is a critical component of business planning, a first step in the budgeting process. Methods that provide accurate forecasts can be of great help to management. Business decisions guided by accurate forecasts are better than decisions guided by guesswork, personal biases, or hunches.
The D and B Ice Cream case study describes a small company and the decisions that it must make about its store locations. What will sales be in the coming year? Should the owners drop poorly performing franchise locations? Should they open stores in new locations?
The case provides cross-sectional demographic and meteorological data for fifteen existing restaurants and two prospective restaurants. These may be useful in site selection. There are also time-series sales data for the fifteen existing restaurants across a period of five years. The time-series data may be useful in sales forecasting.
Ask people what they want, and they say, "the best of everything." Ask them what they would like to spend, and they say, "as little as possible." Assessing consumer preferences and willingness to pay through direct rating scales, with separate questions about product features and prices, often fails to capture trade-offs that underlie consumer choice.
Conjoint analysis goes beyond simple surveys, providing a more realistic approach to understanding consumer attitudes, opinions, and behavior. Introduced as a fundamental measurement method more than forty years ago, conjoint analysis presents combinations of features and attributes in product profiles and asks people to rank or rate those profiles or to make choices among product profiles.
Do you have questions about the design of a new product? Want to assess the importance of product attributes? Do you need to predict consumer choice acoss a range of existing or potential products? Conjoint analysis may be the answer. Include brand names and prices in the description of product profiles, and you can use conjoint analysis to assess brand equity. Product naming and pricing studies are often conjoint studies.
What could be more important to a business than understanding its customers, competitors, and markets? Managers need a coherent view of these things.
With consumer research, product management, competitive intelligence, customer support, and management information systems housed within separate departments, managers struggle to find the information they need. Integration of research and information services makes more sense.
This book is about business strategy. It argues for an integrated, strategic approach to information. It draws upon economic research, provider and client surveys, and in-depth interviews with over forty information experts. It provides insights about the nature of research and the demand for information. With discussion of information product positioning and pricing, as well as technology trends, it represents a critical resource for buyers and sellers of research and information services.
Two Months' Salary (a case study); published in 2006; 5 pages.
While looking for an engagement ring for his girlfriend, a young man visits numerous jewelers. He learns how diamond prices are affected by the four Cs: carat (weight), color, clarity, and cut.
Written by Brian A. Pope, Clear Advantage Research & Consulting LLC, Milton, Wisconsin, this case study provides a description of diamond characteristics and prices. Accompanying data for 425 diamonds are well suited for predictive modeling with traditional and modern regression methods.
Wisconsin Dells (a case study); published in 2007; 5 pages
Wisconsin Dells is a resort and entertainment center in south central Wisconsin and one of the Midwest's favorite vacation destinations. In summer, people come for its water parks and amphibious tours. In winter, people come for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Indoor attractions are open year-round.
Wisconsin Dells business owners develop marketing plans for drawing visitors to the area. To answer questions about their customers, they turn to Chamberlain Research Consultants, a marketing research firm headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The firm conducts in-person interviews with Dells visitors, learning about customer demographics and participation in various activities.
Written by Jonathan C. Harrington, Strategic Analyst at Chamberlain Research Consultants, this case study includes a description of Dells activities and research. Accompanying survey data from 1,698 interviews are well suited for exploring market basket and segmentation methods using various multivariate methods, as well as traditional logistic regression and modern classification methods.
Without a Tout is a practical, no-nonsense guide to building models for team sports. Making predictive models accessible to the nontechnical reader, the book describes a class of handicapping methods based upon careful analysis of sports data and thorough testing of model performance.
There is recreational betting---this can be fun. There is betting out of necessity or perceived necessity, induced perhaps by poverty or addiction---this is sad. And there is rational betting---betting when it makes sense to do so---this is a test of wit. Without a Tout is about betting when it it makes sense to do so, when the odds are in our favor. Data-driven models presented in this book show us when the odds are in our favor.
Applications of models and good modeling practice go well beyond the world of sports. They have relevance to any competitive arena. We can predict which product will be chosen, what consumers are willing to pay, or which firm will win in the marketplace. As long as there are relevant data from the past and ways of keeping score, we can use models to our advantage.