Quantiful uses AI to improve business forecasting

Quantiful has revealed the first customers for what it claims is the world’s first consumer insight-led business planning tool

Credit: Dreamstime

Auckland based startup Quantiful has revealed the first customers for what it claims is the world’s first consumer insight-led business planning tool, QU, launched in March in conjunction with Amazon Web Services (AWS), claiming Vodafone has doubled its forecast accuracy through the use of QU.

Quantiful says QU gathers global, real-time consumer demand data and uses machine learning (ML) to forecast customer purchasing behaviours.

Other named customers are Spark and Burgerfuel. Quantiful says QU’s insights allow these enterprises to put power back into the company’s supply chain, improving sales forecasts from 15 per cent to 60 per cent.

Information is pulled from macroeconomic, social media and sales/service subscriptions data and deployed within the AWS environment, leveraging Elasticsearch and Amazon S3, housing enterprise IP and data in one place to mitigate security risks.

Quantiful claims to ingest global, geo and category specific consumer demand data from over 90 sources including econometric, event, search, ratings, social, media, forums and web.

“Consumer and client data is cleaned, enriched (eg sentiment), prepared for deployment and uploaded into QU’s data matrix,” it says.

“Consumer and client data streams are combined to identify and rank demand drivers influencing client product purchasing and the demand drivers are forecast into the future. Proprietary ML algorithms generate highly accurate forecasts of buying behaviour and product level forecasts.”

Quantiful co-founder James Cormack said AWS was QU’s sole cloud provider. “Eighteen months ago, when we were developing the tool, we realised we needed access to a cost-effective mechanism that could store these huge amounts of data in a secure way. We also needed the ability to flex up and down on computational power."

"AWS provided us with hands-on, skilled consultancy, which effectively helped us build out the foundational architecture of QU. Being a startup, AWS continues to allow us to be extremely agile - we are now planning for international growth and expansion as a result of the flexibility it provides us."

QU is the latest in a string of New Zealand developed AI business tools. Last month we reported real estate website Homes.co.nz had added artificial intelligence to its website to help house hunters search for desirable features based on an analysis of photos of properties, Vector using Watson to help detect vegetation threats to its powerlines, and to anticipate weather impacts, and we reported wine, spirits and craft beer retailer Fine Wine Delivery using IBM’s Watson to help customers choose products from its range.

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