Statistical and Economic Evaluation of Time Series Models for Forecasting Arrivals at Call Centers

30 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2017

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: December 2016

Abstract

Call centers' managers are interested in obtaining accurate forecasts of call arrivals because these are a key input in staffing and scheduling decisions. Therefore their ability to achieve an optimal balance between service quality and operating costs ultimately hinges on forecast accuracy.

We present a strategy to model selection in call centers which is based on three pillars:

(i) a flexible loss function;

(ii) statistical evaluation of forecast accuracy;

(iii) economic evaluation of forecast performance using money metrics.

We implement fourteen time series models and seven forecast combination schemes on three series of call arrivals. We show that second moment modeling is important when forecasting call arrivals. From the point of view of a call center manager, our results indicate that outsourcing the development of a forecasting model is worth its cost, since the simple Seasonal Random Walk model is always outperformed by other, relatively more sophisticated, specifications.

Keywords: ARIMA, Call Center Arrivals, Loss Function, Seasonality, Telecommunications Forecasting

JEL Classification: C22, C25, C53, D81, M15

Suggested Citation

Bastianin, Andrea and Galeotti, Marzio and Manera, Matteo, Statistical and Economic Evaluation of Time Series Models for Forecasting Arrivals at Call Centers (December 2016). FEEM Working Paper No. 6.2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2913472 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2913472

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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