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Centre for Marketing Analytics and Forecasting

A pioneering centre for fundamental and applied research, leading knowledge exchange between academia and business.

About this Centre

Founded in 1990, the Centre continues to lead the field in applied forecasting and marketing analytics. Our research focuses on developing new methods for the complete range of problems organisations face in predictive analytics including demand planning and market modelling.

We have extensive experience with working in organisations, both public and private, offering research and support in sectors including telecommunications, retailing and manufacturing as well as software suppliers. Throughout the year, we host a range of events including courses and guest speakers.

Our Mission

To advance the practice and research foundations of Marketing Analytics and Forecasting, by developing innovative approaches, and a programme of dissemination of best practices through the introduction of new methods, processes and systems. 

News

Our Research Themes

Our research objectives are to introduce new frameworks, approaches and methods. This encompasses quantitative models and methods, as well as qualitative analysis of organisational activities of planning and forecasting. Visit our publications for the research produced by this centre.

Marketing Analytics

Marketing analytics focuses on the integration of data, software and statistical methods in the analysis of marketing problems, both strategic and operational. Current research in the Centre includes such topics as modelling the effects of promotions for retailing, establishing optimal prices and defining omni-channel retail strategies that take into account changes in consumer’s behaviour. To support a better marketing budget allocation we evaluate product life-cycle and model dynamics of market shares.

Marketing

Supply Chain Forecasting

The Centre works on developing new methods for supply chain forecasting, including new approaches to forecasting in FMCG. These include taking advantage of the multiple hierarchies of data available to organisations and enhancing the standard forecasting approaches to include collaborative information, the aim being to eliminate the costly bullwhip effect. We are also developing new methods for slow-moving products, including those with sporadic or intermittent demand, much needed for retailers and spare part suppliers.

Logistics

Forecasting and Planning Processes

Statistical forecasting methods are seldom used alone. They form part of the Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process where judgment is used to adjust the statistical forecast. The issue of understanding the ‘value added’ arising from such judgmental interventions in the forecasting process is vital to organisational forecasting and planning. This important area was neglected until the Centre initiated a major study on the practice of judgmental forecasting. This work continues with research on judgmental adjustments on promotional forecasts.

Data

Machine Learning

Our research includes forecasting with Neural Networks and identifying novel computational methods, and approaches to forecasting model selection. We research classification where we focus on learning models from potentially unending streams of high-dimensional data. Our work emphasises computational efficiency and adaptation in response to changes in the data generating process. In clustering we have developed novel methods for dimensionality reduction and cluster identification that are applied in a broad range of applications from image annotation to time-series clustering.

Laptop

Working With Us

Organisational impact is a key driver of the Centre’s activities and is regularly assessed by government. Recognised as world-leading in the last evaluation exercise for its impact, our research has achieved major improvements in forecast accuracy leading to substantial cost reductions and/or service level improvements. 


Our Centre members are experts in their respective areas, both in the latest theoretical research and also its implementation in real projects with leading multinational companies.


As an academic institution, we can give independent suggestions and are not tied to any software product. Our solutions always consider the most practical approach and the best match for your organisation.


Our members have substantial collective experience in research and teaching. For example our courses are designed and taught by leading professional educators working at the highest level.

Our Courses

We have a long and successful history in delivering first class forecasting education to students and practitioners. We guarantee small teaching groups of approx. 10 to 12 students. This allows us to work with you hands-on using real data, running resource-intensive hands-on exercises. Furthermore, each participant will receive a complimentary copy of the latest forecasting book Principles of Business Forecasting by Robert Fildes and Nikos Kourentzes (course leaders) and Keith Ord.

We are the only institute in the UK to offer a Certificate of Forecasting issued by the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF) which acknowledges your forecasting expertise. It can be obtained by successfully attending any two of our courses.

Fundamental forecasting open courses (two-day courses)

  • Business Forecasting with Time Series Methods: Learn how to explore your data, forecast your time series and evaluate the results. This course is an ideal introduction to forecasting for both the new recruit and the more experienced forecaster. View our Time Series Methods Course Brochure
  • Marketing Mix Analytics and Forecasting. Learn how to create forecasts that capture external effects, such as the weather, policy changes or promotions. Regression models are a flexible method that can take into account all those factors that time series methods neglect. View our Marketing Mix Analytics Brochure.

Advanced forecasting courses (one-day courses)

  • Artificial Neural Networks: Learn how to build neural networks to accurately predict complex and nonlinear time series.
  • Slow Moving & Intermittent Demand: Learn how to forecast reliably slow-moving items, spare parts and other intermittent time series.
  • Promotional Modelling: Learn how to build and use advanced predictive models to best model and understand your promotions.
  • New Product Forecasting: Learn state-of-the-art forecasting methods to new product demand forecasting and the use of expert opinion and management judgment.

Custom-made courses

We can develop tailor-made courses to meet specific requirements for individuals or entire demand planning teams. For example, we regularly teach courses tailor-made for SAP APO-DP. This two-day course covers forecasting methods, error metrics and processes implemented in the software package. On completion, participants understand the pitfalls of SAP's modelling approach and how the limitations can be overcome.

If you would like to learn more about our courses, please contact us.

Projects

Short-Term Projects

Working with industry, commerce and government, we support projects on a short time scale bringing valuable insights and knowledge into the organisation for immediate action. We offer a variety of projects formats that have a different level of engagement:

Consultancy

We have led many exciting projects which have drawn upon the broad range of expertise and experience of our faculty members. Consultancy projects can be arranged at short notice and are very flexible in their format. Examples include the implementation of new forecasting models, evaluation and benchmarking of current forecast processes or analysing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. 

Masters Student Projects

During the summer term, our Master students from the Business and Marketing Analytics courses embark on a company based projects. These projects offer a very attractive way of obtaining the latest methods from the classroom and fresh insights into the specific issues facing the organisation. Each project is supervised by an experienced CMAF member to ensure its success. Such projects may often lead to the recruitment of the student after the completion of the project.

Software Development

We advise major software houses on design and implementation of new applications. Our researchers have developed a number of models which are available as open-source software packages that disseminate the latest advances in forecasting methods - please refer to our Resources tab for more information. Projects have also customised software for organisations or advised on the design of more effective Forecasting Support Systems.

 

Longer-Term Projects

Some projects are more ambitious and will require greater time to collect, analyse and interpret data. These projects need a more significant amount of expert resource to yield the greatest benefits. The government is keen to promote the industrial-academic partnerships required for successful longer-term projects and we would be glad to discuss these opportunities with you.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The KTP Scheme is designed to facilitate knowledge transfer from the University to the industrial partner. As part of this, it provides academic support for the fast-track development of recent graduates into industrial management. The graduate, based in the company and supervised by a member of the centre over a typical period of two years, works on a project or linking projects identified by the company. The cost to the company is subsidised by the KTP scheme, making it an attractive proposition to an organisation with a major development need.

Doctoral Research Projects

This project type will give you chance to obtain a leading edge of innovation to your competitors. Research is undertaken over a three or four year period on a jointly agreed problem with the client. The cost of sponsoring a student can be reduced through sponsorship by the government or through the funding from the UK research councils.

 

We are proud to have worked with a range of national and global organisations such as those below.

 If you would like to learn more about our projects, please contact us.

Resources

Open-source R packages maintained by centre members

  • diffusion - a collection of models to forecast the diffusion of new products.
  • greybox - a toolbox for selecting and combining forecasting models.
  • MAPA - contains functions to forecast with a Multiple Aggregation Prediction Algorithm (MAPA).
  • nnfor - contains functions for automatic time series modelling with neural networks.
  • smooth - allows forecasting with exponential smoothing and ARIMA functions.
  • tsintermittent - for analysing and forecasting intermittent demand and slow-moving items.
  • TStools - a collection of time series analysis functions.
  • thief - Methods and tools for generating forecasts at different temporal frequencies using a hierarchical time series approach. 

Research blogs written by centre members

Books published

Whitepapers

  • Our Courses

    Our Courses

    We have a long and successful history in delivering first class forecasting education to students and practitioners. We guarantee small teaching groups of approx. 10 to 12 students. This allows us to work with you hands-on using real data, running resource-intensive hands-on exercises. Furthermore, each participant will receive a complimentary copy of the latest forecasting book Principles of Business Forecasting by Robert Fildes and Nikos Kourentzes (course leaders) and Keith Ord.

    We are the only institute in the UK to offer a Certificate of Forecasting issued by the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF) which acknowledges your forecasting expertise. It can be obtained by successfully attending any two of our courses.

    Fundamental forecasting open courses (two-day courses)

    • Business Forecasting with Time Series Methods: Learn how to explore your data, forecast your time series and evaluate the results. This course is an ideal introduction to forecasting for both the new recruit and the more experienced forecaster. View our Time Series Methods Course Brochure
    • Marketing Mix Analytics and Forecasting. Learn how to create forecasts that capture external effects, such as the weather, policy changes or promotions. Regression models are a flexible method that can take into account all those factors that time series methods neglect. View our Marketing Mix Analytics Brochure.

    Advanced forecasting courses (one-day courses)

    • Artificial Neural Networks: Learn how to build neural networks to accurately predict complex and nonlinear time series.
    • Slow Moving & Intermittent Demand: Learn how to forecast reliably slow-moving items, spare parts and other intermittent time series.
    • Promotional Modelling: Learn how to build and use advanced predictive models to best model and understand your promotions.
    • New Product Forecasting: Learn state-of-the-art forecasting methods to new product demand forecasting and the use of expert opinion and management judgment.

    Custom-made courses

    We can develop tailor-made courses to meet specific requirements for individuals or entire demand planning teams. For example, we regularly teach courses tailor-made for SAP APO-DP. This two-day course covers forecasting methods, error metrics and processes implemented in the software package. On completion, participants understand the pitfalls of SAP's modelling approach and how the limitations can be overcome.

    If you would like to learn more about our courses, please contact us.

  • Projects

    Projects

    Short-Term Projects

    Working with industry, commerce and government, we support projects on a short time scale bringing valuable insights and knowledge into the organisation for immediate action. We offer a variety of projects formats that have a different level of engagement:

    Consultancy

    We have led many exciting projects which have drawn upon the broad range of expertise and experience of our faculty members. Consultancy projects can be arranged at short notice and are very flexible in their format. Examples include the implementation of new forecasting models, evaluation and benchmarking of current forecast processes or analysing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. 

    Masters Student Projects

    During the summer term, our Master students from the Business and Marketing Analytics courses embark on a company based projects. These projects offer a very attractive way of obtaining the latest methods from the classroom and fresh insights into the specific issues facing the organisation. Each project is supervised by an experienced CMAF member to ensure its success. Such projects may often lead to the recruitment of the student after the completion of the project.

    Software Development

    We advise major software houses on design and implementation of new applications. Our researchers have developed a number of models which are available as open-source software packages that disseminate the latest advances in forecasting methods - please refer to our Resources tab for more information. Projects have also customised software for organisations or advised on the design of more effective Forecasting Support Systems.

     

    Longer-Term Projects

    Some projects are more ambitious and will require greater time to collect, analyse and interpret data. These projects need a more significant amount of expert resource to yield the greatest benefits. The government is keen to promote the industrial-academic partnerships required for successful longer-term projects and we would be glad to discuss these opportunities with you.

    Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

    The KTP Scheme is designed to facilitate knowledge transfer from the University to the industrial partner. As part of this, it provides academic support for the fast-track development of recent graduates into industrial management. The graduate, based in the company and supervised by a member of the centre over a typical period of two years, works on a project or linking projects identified by the company. The cost to the company is subsidised by the KTP scheme, making it an attractive proposition to an organisation with a major development need.

    Doctoral Research Projects

    This project type will give you chance to obtain a leading edge of innovation to your competitors. Research is undertaken over a three or four year period on a jointly agreed problem with the client. The cost of sponsoring a student can be reduced through sponsorship by the government or through the funding from the UK research councils.

     

    We are proud to have worked with a range of national and global organisations such as those below.

     If you would like to learn more about our projects, please contact us.

  • Resources

    Resources

    Open-source R packages maintained by centre members

    • diffusion - a collection of models to forecast the diffusion of new products.
    • greybox - a toolbox for selecting and combining forecasting models.
    • MAPA - contains functions to forecast with a Multiple Aggregation Prediction Algorithm (MAPA).
    • nnfor - contains functions for automatic time series modelling with neural networks.
    • smooth - allows forecasting with exponential smoothing and ARIMA functions.
    • tsintermittent - for analysing and forecasting intermittent demand and slow-moving items.
    • TStools - a collection of time series analysis functions.
    • thief - Methods and tools for generating forecasts at different temporal frequencies using a hierarchical time series approach. 

    Research blogs written by centre members

    Books published

    Whitepapers

Thinking about doing a PhD?

Our centre has a dynamic group of PhD students who are researching various topics within our research themes. Read more about doing a PhD in Management Science at Lancaster.

Learn more

Publications

People

Centre Director

Professor Robert Fildes

Distinguished Professor

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 593879 A055, A - Floor, Management School

Centre Members

Professor John Boylan

Professor, Head of Department

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Health Systems

+44 (0)1524 594425 A054, A - Floor, Management School

Dr Catherine Cleophas

Visiting Researcher

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Health Systems, Simulation and Stochastic Modelling

+44 (0)1524 510881

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 592991 A053a, A - Floor, Management School

Dr Ahmad Daryanto

Senior Lecturer

Centre for Consumption Insights, Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Networks, Knowledge and Strategy

+44 (0)1524 510676

Dr Florian Dost

Senior Lecturer in Marketing Analytics

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting

+44 (0)1524 510568

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Centre for Transportation Systems & Logistics (CENTRAL), STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 592911 A048a, A - Floor, Management School

Dr Nicos Pavlidis

Senior Lecturer

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 593864

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting

+44 (0)1524 510913

PhD Students

Fahad Al-Qahtani

PhD (Integrated) student

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting

Carlos Rodriguez Calderon

PhD (Integrated) student

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting

Patrick Saoud

PhD student

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Centre for Transportation Systems & Logistics (CENTRAL)

Oliver Schaer

PhD student

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting

Anna Sroginis

PhD student

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting

Daniel Waller

PhD student

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

Chrissy Wright

PhD student

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Centre for Transportation Systems & Logistics (CENTRAL), Modelling and Inference, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

Centre Administrator

Teresa Aldren

Research Centres Administrator, Administrator

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting

+44 (0)1524 510906 B003a, B - Floor, Management School

Events and courses

For a full list of our upcoming events and courses, please visit our Events page.

More Events