Why weather insights are key to unlocking business intelligence

Tom Butcher
Head of Industry Consultancy

Contents

The link between weather and business is a vital one. By understanding this, business leaders can increase their profits and efficiency.

At the Met Office, we work with sectors as diverse as rail, retail, infrastructure, aviation and energy. As Head of Industry Consultancy, it's my job to talk to businesses from every industry.

So, it was no surprise to see environment-based risks at the top of the Global Risks Report 2019. Every year, the World Economic Forum identifies this as a key issue for business and government leaders. 

Extreme weather events and climate change inaction are two of the standout risks. Both are notable for their potential impact and the likelihood that they will affect businesses in the future.

Many leaders are already aware of how extreme weather events impact their business. Severe weather can affect safety, efficiency and the bottom line.

Managing these opportunities and risks, though, is what makes a real difference. A better understanding of the weather today makes your business far more resilient. 

And that's where my team come in.

The link between weather and business problems

What we do, in a nutshell, is get to grips with our customers' problems. Then, we see how our science can help overcome them.

The first thing we do is look at the main issues facing a customer. From this, we can see their priority business needs.

Next, we study their data and analyse anything that is linked to the weather. This could be something like summer water demand, or product availability for retail.

Once we know how weather affects a business, we create a tailored forecast. This forecast doesn't just predict the weather - it looks at how that weather impacts performance. This level of insight helps a business plan to meet the challenges of the future.

Our water demand forecast measures the high levels of peak use during heatwaves. We help call centres predict demand on their lines during times of severe weather. It’s our job to help you identify, interpret and integrate the weather into your business.

How to increase profits and efficiency by understanding weather and its impacts

Long-range forecasts, too, can offer immense value. We interpret long-range forecast probabilities, turning this into useful insight for a business.

Take, as an example, marine engineering and construction. Suitable weather windows need to be known weeks in advance.

Past climate data can help, but seasonal forecasts enhance confidence and success. This reduces unplanned downtime and leads to significant savings. 

We help businesses create a rigorous framework for using long-range forecasts. When this informs how they make decisions, it increases profits and efficiency. Not only that, it ensures compliance with regulations, too.

The business benefits of seasonal and climate insights

Our climate timescales look even further ahead, giving businesses powerful insight. Climate model outputs can help drive our insight into business outcomes and weather. By doing this, we can see how a changing climate affects a business. 

A warmer climate might mean a 10% increase in water consumption, for example. Or, it could mean a 5% increase in sales of ice cream. This helps businesses see how they need to adapt to a changing climate. This shapes forward strategy, gives an early competitive advantage and builds long-term resilience.

How technology can help you use business data

A lot of businesses can now handle and analyse big data. Digital transformation means they can incorporate weather data into their business processes. This 'fourth industrial revolution' means data is being used in new, compelling and valuable ways.

Smart tools, analytics and AI technology now support a range of industries. They're exploiting patterns in their data that they couldn't see before. When it comes to weather - and climate-related impacts - the benefits are vast. 

How to improve your operations and long-term strategy

Using weather and climate data offers two clear advantages. You can react when weather events occur, limiting the disruption to your business. But you can also manage potential issues in the future. Day-to-day intelligence can inform your operations, while long-range forecasts help shape your strategy. 

Businesses need to harness these technological advances and integrate data throughout operations. If you do this, you unlock real value from weather insights that can transform the way you do business.

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We are available 24/7.

0370 900 0100
Email us

Fill out this short form and we'll get back to you.

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