Demand forecasting with user-generated online information

Schaer, Oliver and Kourentzes, Nikolaos and Fildes, Robert Alan (2019) Demand forecasting with user-generated online information. International Journal of Forecasting, 35 (1). pp. 197-212. ISSN 0169-2070

PDF (IJF_Demand_forecasting_with_user-generated_online_information)
IJF_Demand_forecasting_with_user_generated_online_information.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (341kB)


Recently, there has been substantial research on the augmentation of aggregate forecasts with individual consumer data from internet platforms, such as search traffic or social network shares. Although the majority of studies have reported increases in accuracy, many exhibit design weaknesses, including a lack of adequate benchmarks or rigorous evaluation. Furthermore, their usefulness over the product life-cycle has not been investigated, even though this may change, as consumers may search initially for pre-purchase information, but later for after-sales support. This study begins by reviewing the relevant literature, then attempts to support the key findings using two forecasting case studies. Our findings are in stark contrast to those in the previous literature, as we find that established univariate forecasting benchmarks, such as exponential smoothing, consistently perform better those that include online information. Our research underlines the need for a thorough forecast evaluation and argues that the usefulness of online platform data for supporting operational decisions may be limited.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Forecasting
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Forecasting. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Forecasting, 35,1,2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2018.03.005
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
15 Mar 2018 10:14
Last Modified:
26 Sep 2023 00:36