Labour Demand Forecasting Glossary

Jan 27, 2023

Like many specialisations, Labour demand forecasting has lots of jargon, acronyms, abbreviations and technical terms. In our glossary, we attempt to list the more regular terms and explain what they mean.


Acronym for Artificial Intelligence.


A sequence of rigorous instructions used to solve a specific problem or to perform a computation.


Often called business analytics, a data-driven approach to business processes and product improvement.

Artificial intelligence

The creation of computer systems capable of performing tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence. These include decision-making, image recognition, planning problems, translation and others.

Data Mining

A field of science aimed at discovering relations in data.

Demand forecasting

Methods to predict future customer demand alongside the number of staff required to serve those customers.


The prediction of variables such as sales or call volume which have a high correlation with staffing levels.

Labour Demand

Is the calculated number of hours that will be needed for each role in each department or store during a set time period.

Labour demand curve

Sometimes just called a Demand Curve, is the intraday distribution of forecasted workload used to generate a schedule.

Labour Standards Software

A tool used to build and maintain a labour model. Typically by measuring and recording all of an organisations labour standards.

Labour Standard

The measurement of how long it takes for a worker to complete a specific task or activity.

Machine Learning

Development of computer systems that are able to learn and adapt without following explicit instructions,


Acronym for machine learning.

ML Ops

Short for machine learning, and development operations. It refers to the Dev Ops processes required to deploy and maintain machine learning models in production.

Operating model

A documented model which explains what staff are required to operate within a team and what variables might change that staffing level.

Operations Research

The science that uses mathematical models to improve business operations.


Acronym for Operational Research

Resource Management

The process of utilising various types of business resources effectively and efficiently. In the case of Labour demand forecasting, this resource is most likely to be staff hours

Volume Driver

A variable factor that has a high correlation to staffing levels such as customer traffic.


Acronym for Workforce Optimisation

Workforce Optimisation

The process of optimising the number of staff that are available to work so that customer demand is met. You may end up optimising your Workforce for a number of factors including demand, budget, compliance etc.


The amount of hours of each role that is required to support the predicted workload.


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