The weather has an enormous impact on us all yet despite this, an insufficient amount of organisations use weather data in a wide scale and proactive way
“The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house.
All that cold, cold, wet day”
The weather affects human behaviour. As Dr Seuss makes clear in his famous children’s book ‘The Cat in the Hat’. It is not a tricky concept. It dictates what we do on a daily basis, how we plan our free time, how we travel, our health and the way we work. It costs us business, energy and time.
Yet despite this enormous impact, an insufficient amount of organisations use weather data in a wide scale and proactive way. The information available can be harnessed to allow more effective day-to-day business, allowing us to predict consumer behaviour, damage to equipment, energy use and safety. The examples below give a taste of the amazing results that can be achieved by incorporating this data.
Increase in media engagement and sales
Consumers purchase numerous products to help them take pride in their appearance, hair products being an example. Weather can have a disruptive, sometimes comical, effect on people’s hair. Does rain or humid conditions in the morning make your hair frizz up? Pantene, Walgreens & the Weather Company have a developed a solution.
Data on the weather is paired with the customers’ exact location and climate that allows for targeted advertising. As a result, consumers are able to see product ads most relevant to the weather at a Zip-Code level, recommending the product that will make your hair most manageable each day. This type of solution can apply weather data across the retail industry to increase sales through targeted marketing.
Predict outages and allocate resources
Utility companies must respond to outages as they occur, using available resources in order to minimise the effects on consumers. A utility company in the US built an analytics solution that uses predictive modelling to identify situations that can lead to equipment outages, so that repair units can be dispatched proactively. This draws on historical and current data, using weather and equipment history to predict. This enables them to respond optimally and gain better insights into the running of their business.
Strengthen Policy Holder relations and reduce damage
Extreme weather conditions cause damage. As an Insurer, reducing the amount of damage will reduce the number of claims, minimising the amount that is paid out. Weather data can be analysed to provide early warnings as to where weather damage is likely to occur. Insurers that harness this data are able to notify consumers, informing them of protective measures that they can take. Not only will this reduce claims, it will increase relationships with Policy Holders, freeing them of the disruption caused by damage.
These three case studies demonstrate just a few applications of weather data in our lives and the environments that we live in. Each country, city and postcode has different conditions, which are constantly changing. We have the ability to harness these local differences, to predict, protect and strengthen. So what are you waiting for?
Annika Grosse has been with IBM since 1997. She has a background in Business and IT Consulting and became Executive Partner in 2011. Three years later, Annika took over her current responsibility as leader for Cognitive Business Solutions in Europe (GBS).
Her industry background is primarily in banking, insurance, healthcare and public. She is passionate about successfully implementing innovative and value-creating strategies and solutions, as well as accompanying businesses through their transformational journey.
Originally studying computer and information sciences, Annika also has an M.B.A. as well as a Diploma in Strategy & Innovation from the University of Oxford.
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