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Impact of Covid-19 on how we use predictive data

The demand supply chain has been rattled rather brutally thanks to Coronavirus. Businesses are on the road to recovery amid Covid-19 waves hitting every now and then. As lockdown-related restrictions begin to ease in certain cities, the big question remains its impact on demand and the preparedness of businesses, in the likelihood of more Covid-19 waves, future lockdowns etc.

We looked at the rising relevance of external data last week. Industries such as CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods), hospitality, et al who have been relying on past data to predict future sales, suddenly face the shocking invalidness of the existing data in the altered reality aka Coronavirus. Change is the only constant and hence new methodology must be used to predict demand. External data, the ‘change’, then brings in real time data for businesses to know the current consumption patterns of their customers. Once the Covid curbs ease up again, external data will help those relying on past data such as CPGs or the hospitality sector to measure its impact on the demand in the future. It will also come in handy in case of future lockdowns as the pandemic takes new turns.

A fine example of the altered circumstances would be the meat processing businesses. As restaurants shut for dining-in, their demand for goods from the meat processing industry dipped too. But what rose in stark contrast, was the demand for these goods from the home cooks. The learning for the industry here was to package meat in a different manner for this segment, i.e. smaller packs as against bulk packaging for the restaurant industry. They should, however, also be able to know when to begin packing in bulk once again, and that is where external data will play a big role.

The role of foot traffic: Previous footfalls were being used to deliver personalized ads to the smart phones of users. The same will now be used to know the whereabouts of people. To add to the above example, foot traffic can actually tell the meat industry that people have started stepping out more now and this would be their cue to start bulk packing again. Other data sources which are emerging include the data from OTT streaming platforms.

The new way in which demand is predicted is not a cakewalk, but a solid mix of data science and progressive analytics with clever employment of algorithms to arrive at the desired results. Risk management needs to be looked at in a whole new light. The use of advanced analytics in any future data prediction will form the basis of business planning. The competition will be edgy too and those who employ data in a more aligned way and execute the new tech faster will definitely score big.

Do get in touch with our team at [email protected] if you’d like to make use of AI, the futuristic tech which businesses must leverage pronto.

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wasim basir

marketing, board member

It’s most obvious in the digital media space, from click buys to personalized web experiences. For marketing, the AI journey has just kick-started, while in the tech sector it has been applied for a while now. We are still at an early stage where inroads are being made into AI content via chatbots and even some explanatory content creation but what will make anyone jump up and embrace it is when we will start seeing a lot of mainstream content being created by AI.

rich arnold

board member

Prior to joining Infinite Analytics, Richard served as the CFO of CrowdFlower, COO and CFO of Phoenix Technologies, as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the Audit Committee at Intellisync, and previously as CFO and executive vice president strategy and corporate development at Charles Schwab.

pravin gandhi

board member

Pravin Gandhi has over 50 years of entrepreneurial operational and investing experience in the IT industry in India. He was a founding partner of the first early stage fund India - INFINITY. Subsequently a founding partner in Seedfund I & II. With over 18 years of investing experience, he is extensively well networked in investment and entrepreneurial scene and is an active early stage angel investor in tech & impact space. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and serves on the board of several private corporations in India. He is on the board of SINE, IIT Mumbai Incubator.

Purushotham Botla

co-founder & cto

Puru has his Masters in Engineering and Management from MIT. Prior to MIT, he worked with Fidelity Investments building electronic trading products and high volume market data processing applications. He has completed his BE from VJTI, Mumbai.


Deb Roy

Executive Director, MIT Media Lab

Deb Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He leads research in applied machine learning and human-machine interaction with applications in designing systems for learning and constructive dialogue, and for mapping and analyzing large scale media ecosystems. Deb is also co-founder and Chair of Cortico, a nonprofit social technology company that develops and operates the Local Voices Network to surface underheard voices and bridge divides.

Roy served as Executive Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2019-2021. He was co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs, a media analytics company that analyzed the interactions between television and social media at scale. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition of the time. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.

Erik Brynjolfsson

Board Member

Erik Brynjolfsson is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. He also is the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Professor by Courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Akash Bhatia

Co-Founder and CEO

Akash co-founded IA while studying for his MBA from MIT. Prior to MIT Sloan, he co-founded Zoonga. Before this, Akash was an engineer with Oracle in Silicon Valley. He has completed his M.S from University of Cincinnati and B.E from the College of Engineering, Pune.