Forecast Evaluation in Call Centers: Combined Forecasts, Flexible Loss Functions and Economic Criteria

33 Pages Posted: 4 May 2011

See all articles by Andrea Bastianin

Andrea Bastianin

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

Marzio Galeotti

University of Milan - Department of Environmental Science and Policy (DESP); Bocconi University - IEFE Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy

Matteo Manera

University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Milan, Italy

Date Written: March 22, 2011

Abstract

Accurate forecasts of incoming calls are crucial to optimal staffing decisions in call centers. This paper evaluates a wide range of models and forecast combination techniques by means of statistical and economic criteria. Relative to the previous literature, this paper is novel in several respects. In particular, the statistical evaluation of competing models is carried out by using a flexible loss function as input to pairwise and joint forecast diagnostic checks. Informative rankings across alternative single models and different groups of models are obtained. Moreover, models are evaluated from the perspective of a manager, who needs reliable forecasts to dimension the call center. Money metrics of forecasting performance are computed, which are based on the economic value of information and the certainty equivalent.

Keywords: Combining forecasts, Decision making, Loss function, Seasonality, Telecommunications forecasting

JEL Classification: C22, C44, C53, D81, L96

Suggested Citation

Bastianin, Andrea and Galeotti, Marzio and Manera, Matteo, Forecast Evaluation in Call Centers: Combined Forecasts, Flexible Loss Functions and Economic Criteria (March 22, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1829891 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1829891

Andrea Bastianin (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

Marzio Galeotti

University of Milan - Department of Environmental Science and Policy (DESP) ( email )

2 via Celoria
I-20133 Milano
Italy
+39-2-50316470 (Phone)
+39-2-50316486 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unimi.it/chiedove/cv/ENG/marzio_galeotti.pdf?1531977155891

Bocconi University - IEFE Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy ( email )

via Rontgen
Milan, 20123
Italy
+39-2-58362340 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.iefe.unibocconi.it

Matteo Manera

University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Via Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, 8
Milan, 20126
Italy
+39 02 6448 5819 (Phone)
+39 02 6448 5878 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.matteomanera.it

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Milan, Italy ( email )

Corso Magenta, 63
Milan, 20123
Italy
+39 02 520 36944 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.feem.it

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