Forum Analytics:Turning Data into Powerful Business Intelligence

Paul Sill, Principal & CEO And Luke Douglas, Principal & CTO
What connects geography and predictive analytics? Paul Sill, Principal and CEO of Forum Analytics, has the answer. While studying for his advanced degree in urban geography, Sill saw the practical benefits of combining applied statistics with geography. Once out of graduate school, Sill began working in the real estate research department at Blockbuster Entertainment assisting in the development of a sales forecasting tool in a geospatial environment during their explosive growth of the late 1990s. Roughly six additional years working at Sears, Roebuck and Company exposed Sill to many other forecasting, consulting, and modeling solutions. Collectively, these experiences exposed shortcomings in traditional platforms that could be remedied by using more robust modeling techniques, and this encouraged him to start Forum Analytics in 2001. Today, the firm’s predictive analytics and integrated mapping solutions are being utilized by numerous Fortune 500 companies with global ambitions.

Predictive analytics can be leveraged by enterprises to make better decisions. However, as Sill sees it, the biggest challenges for wider adoption of predictive analytics across an enterprise continue to be client data integrity, correctly setting expectations for exactly how analytics will add value, and the correct interpretation of analytic results to avoid their misapplication, especially in strategic decision making. “We use data mining and predictive analytics to solve discrete, clearly-defined business problems. Working closely with the client before work begins to clearly define the objectives of the analysis is critical to overall success,” say Sill. Key questions solved by Forum’s work include strategic concerns such as “How much can we grow before we start to oversaturate?”, “Which of my units are strong remodel candidates?” and “How do I optimize store assortment to maximize store assortment to maximize“revenue per square foot?”.

Beyond offering strategic insights, Forum Analytics uses their SIMMS Online platform to easily and effectively deploy analytics, allowing clients to interact with their models, data System–is a turn-key, enterprise-ready mapping, reporting, and modeling platform that helps end-users find real-time, data-driven answers to real estate, marketing, and assortment planning questions.
Every day, over 1,200 end users, from clients spanning the retail, restaurant, health care, education, and similar business-to consumer industries, rely on Forum’s individually customized SIMMS Online solutions.

The SIMMS Online solution can integrate a proprietary triangulated analytic modeling engine with market optimization, sales cannibalization, and consumer profiling models, all customized completely for each client’s unique needs. The SIMMS Online platform, coupled with Forum’s strategic consulting capabilities, empowers clients like Ace Hardware, Krispy Kreme, Verizon Wireless, Carl’s Jr., Primrose Schools, Sephora, and many other global brands to make informed dayto-day decisions and minimize risks.

“We’ve unleashed the full power of analytics through the SIMMS Online platform, which is customized to provide on demand insights for front-line field users working on tablets, all the way up to the executive suite,” adds Sill. He identifies a combination of Forum’s technical expertise and partnerships with global data vendors as its unique differentiator. Forum’s partnerships with information providers affords them access to a wealth of data that, when coupled with client data resources, provides the most complete framework for successful data mining. The company’s relentless focus educating clients on how to maximize their investment creates a sense of trust that keeps clients happy year after year, and their greater than 98 percent client retention rate stands as a testament to this.

With predictive analytics becoming an ever-bigger force in driving business and intelligence through a simple ,web-based mapping interface–Google Maps, already familiar to hundreds of millions worldwide. SIMMS–the Strategic Integrated Mapping and Modeling decisions, Forum Analytics is intent on constantly innovating and evolving to stay ahead of the curve.

Forum Analytics

Chicago, IL

Paul Sill, Principal & CEO And Luke Douglas, Principal & CTO

A provider of sophisticated modeling and cutting-edge mapping solutions to enhance enterprise-wide decision making.