CDO Magazine: 84.51˚ Science VP: Business Forecasting is Science
(US and Canada) Ritesh Khire, 84.51˚ Science VP, speaks with Mark Johnson, Regional VP of Fusion Alliance and Editorial Board Member at CDO Magazine, about 84.51˚ as a company, his background, and the type of sciences developed by the company.
84.51˚ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger enterprise. It is a retail data science, insights, and media company that serves a host of stakeholders like Kroger, consumer packaged goods, publishers, and partners.
After earning a doctorate in optimization from Rensselaer Polytechnic, Khire worked nine years with the United Technologies Research Center. He joined 84.51˚ as a senior scientist and eventually became the manager and now the vice president and leader of the research center.
Khire characterizes AI as a journey, and that they are going from descriptive sciences to prescriptive sciences with AI and ML. Descriptive sciences provide a historical view of what has happened, also known as insights, he adds.
The next level is predictive sciences, states Khire, which forecasts what happens tomorrow. The idea is to use the predictive to reach the prescriptive aspect, which is about making things happen with AI, ML, and optimization.
Highlighting retail stores, Khire mentions that a good example of predictive modeling is the forecast models they build. The models help to track the expected demand in a day, week, or month, he explains. Depending on the application, he reveals that forecasts are made on the item, category, and store level.
Considering forecasting as science, Khire indicates that 700 million different forecasting models make trillions of forecasts every day. AI and ML allow optimization of the price and promotion schedule based on predictive models.
Khire calls what they do prescriptive sciences as they can reach the maximum number of customers by setting prices or promoting products in a certain way. He elaborates that forecast models are predictive sciences, and making decisions using those models is prescriptive science.
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