Predictive Analytics & Forecasting

Making decisions involves learning from the past and anticipating the future. At WEST, we formalize this process by combining data, models, and experience to make predictions that can help guide the decision-making process. Critically, we generate forecasts that are probabilistic, meaning the end-user can evaluate the uncertainty and weight of evidence associated with alternative decisions.

Real-Time Predictions

  • WEST’s statisticians, data scientists, and software engineers work collaboratively to turn real-time data into actionable insights. For example, WEST works with wind farm operators to develop and deploy “smart curtailment” algorithms that ingest real-time weather data to predict the near-term risk of bird and bat fatalities.

Risk Forecasting

  • WEST works with the renewable energy sector to predict the impacts of infrastructure and operations, which informs the level of permitting required for a project. WEST also provides forecasts of the likelihood of staying in compliance with regulatory requirements. This knowledge takes the guesswork out of permit applications and gives businesses the level of certainty they need to plan for the future.
  • Climate change is global in scale but the impacts will be local. WEST statisticians use statistical downscaling approaches to deliver the most relevant projections of climate change for particular locations and at meaningful spatial scales. Local-scale projections are essential to forecasting risks due to climate change over short and long timeframes.
  • WEST can use satellite imagery to track changes in environmental variables that anticipate wildfires, providing an early warning signal of how wildfire risk changes over time.

Disease Modeling and Forecasting

  • WEST has worked with university partners to model the trajectory of emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Forecasting infectious diseases sits at the nexus of ecology and statistics, making WEST uniquely qualified to contribute to efforts that guide policy decisions in real time.
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