Twice a month, we bring you headlines from around the industry to keep you informed of the latest trends and conversations. Whether you are in marketing, sales, insights and innovation or finance, we are your go-to source to learn how predictive analytics, machine learning and AI, combined with human intelligence, can transform business planning and performance.

The Stars Align For An Above Average Gain In Holiday Spending

Retailers and manufacturers know that without the ability to accurately predict consumer behaviors, it is extremely challenging to pinpoint demand. Leveraging the three “A’s – affinity, ability and attitude – can unlock consumer behavior, and analyzing these factors can help businesses gain a clear understanding of future performance.

Paring the three “A’s” of consumer behavior with external economic data shows that companies can expect a successful holiday season. Prosper’s October Consumer Spending Forecast is up, and  53.9% of consumers are confident or very confident in the economy, increasing more than 25% year over year. Read here for more economic indicators pointing to a strong holiday retail season.

J.C. Penney Shares Fall 25% as More Bad News Pours In

J.C. Penney shares recently fell by 25% to an all-time low of $2.75 due to significant revisions to its sales and profits forecasts. The CEO points to heavy liquidation in its apparel lines as the primary culprit.

The company has recently appointed a new CFO to head pricing and planning. One of his key responsibilities will be to shore up J.C. Penney’s predictive analytics capabilities.

This Fortune article details the retailer’s woes and what it is doing to improve forecasting and stay relevant.

Predictive Analytics Is Set To Disrupt The Most Conservative Of Industry Sectors

Predictive analytics, big data, machine learning and other advanced business intelligence tools get plenty of headlines for disrupting industries like retail, marketing and finance. However, executives should also consider how these tools and processes can enhance supply chains. Executives are often frustrated with supply chain inefficiencies, especially when it comes to shipping.

This article details how the shipping industry is leveraging advanced analytics tools to become more data-driven, efficient and service customers better. Read more here.

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