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November 12, 20207 min read

How Google Uses Weather Intelligence to Unlock New Revenue Streams

For most of us, thinking about the weather rarely goes beyond: “Will it rain today?” 

You may ask Siri or do a cursory check of your weather app. Other than a few complaints here or there, most of us don’t really think about it.

That’s no longer the case. With record-breaking forest fires, hurricanes, early snowstorms, flooding, and more in 2020, it’s more important than ever to understand the impact weather can have on your business, from disrupting supply chains and shipping to predicting demand for certain services.

The good news? Weather data is more accessible than ever. 

You don’t have to be a meteorologist to understand weather patterns and adapt to them. Here’s how three executives use weather intelligence to unlock new streams of revenue.

Making Data Accessible to Everyone in Your Organization

Expertise and specialized training to understand weather intelligence is no longer required. That’s exactly what Shane Glass, Developer Advocate at Google Cloud, hopes to help his customers with. 

His team works to make massive climate- and weather-related datasets available to the public. Their goal is to take public datasets on winter snowfall or high winds and help users unlock new insights to become more intelligent in the decisions they make. 

“Weather data and weather insights are no longer exclusive to meteorologists. For the longest time, you had to be an expert in the field to be able to work with the data and that’s simply not the case anymore.” 

shane glass google cloud climacell

For example, you can look at weather patterns against sales over time. A hardware store owner, for example, can go beyond, “Well, it’s raining, so I’m going to move my umbrellas to the front of the store.” This type of public data set allows you to understand historic weather patterns and match them to the purchasing patterns from previous years. 

That way, you can look at a five-day forecast and say: “A blizzard is forecast for next week. Historically, my customers purchase rock salt, shovels, and generators, and also materials for indoor projects, like finishing nails and hammers. Time to stock up.” Inform your supply chain ahead of time so stores can prepare to respond to weather events and better serve their customers.

Customer-Centric Decision-Making

Weather intelligence data also unlocks the ability for greater personalization and customer-centric decision-making. That’s what Doug Gibson does at Procore, a cloud-based construction project management software that brings together general contractors, subcontractors, and developers. 

Construction has always been an “outdoor sport”, as Gibson explained. As a contractor, you have to plan for anything, including weather delays. While you can’t completely mitigate severe weather delays, you can bake weather intelligence into your scheduling and project management, including safety requirements. That may be ordering the right amount of tarps, locking down materials to prevent damage, and pre-planning your schedule.

“You can not be successful in construction without really understanding what is happening on the job site in terms of weather, from a productivity, safety, and scheduling perspective.”

doug gibson procore

With construction, weather impacts nearly every decision you make. Take paint, for example. It’s extremely sensitive to  temperature when you ship it, especially cold temperatures. Retailers have to invest in climate-controlled transportation during the winter, or re-route their supply, which not only impacts inventory, but the cost of doing business. For contractors, they have to store it appropriately and paint when the weather is optimal.

Procore’s customers use connected data to incorporate weather patterns and potential delays into their project analytics, adjusting the schedule to reflect upcoming weather events, and make their projects as efficient as possible, giving them the freedom to focus on what really matters: Making the customer happy.

Using Partnerships to Drive Innovation

Managers like Raquel Rodrigo Musat at travel technology company Amadeus must identify the newest trends and the best partners to deliver value for their customers in the airport, airline, travel agency, and hotel business.

“Tools like ClimaCell provide accurate, minute-by-minute forecasts are key for the airlines, but also for the airports. We think about the importance of having a snowstorm and having to shut down an airport, where the losses are incredible.”

Raquel Rodrigo Musat Amadeus ClimaCell

In travel, weather accuracy is everything. For an airline, a one hour delay can cause a loss of more than $4000. And unsurprisingly, weather causes 50-70% of delays. That’s why airline operations teams focus on pre-planning and predictive analytics. If there’s a snowstorm, for example, the airport will close. But for how long? How many flights should be re-routed or grounded? When can flights safely get back in the air? All of these operational decisions hinge on the weather. 

The same is true of smaller operational decisions on a flight-by-flight level. Accurate data can be the difference between using expensive (and environmentally harmful) de-icing fluid vs. dropping elevation, or changing elevation to wait out a thunderstorm instead of making an emergency landing.

Unlock New Revenue with ClimaCell

Weather intelligence is about much more than accurate forecasting. It’s about turning weather data into business insights that operations teams can use to save money and drive revenue. Rather than constantly checking the forecast or relying on a meteorologist to tell you the impact, you can see it for yourself.

With weather intelligence, your team will understand the exact steps to proactively mitigate the impact of operational, financial, and safety risks while being able to find new opportunities to optimize your business and save money. 

With ClimaCell, you don’t have to depend on meteorologists, but can instead understand and adapt to the weather on your own.

Unlock the power of weather intelligence for your business today.

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