Predicting Walmart Sales, Exploratory Data Analysis, and Walmart Sales Dashboard

Author: Rashmi Jeswani
Committee: Stephen Zilora - sjzicsJohn-Paul Takats - jxtadm Bob Smith
Submitted On: Dec 1, 2021
Data Analysis

Data is one of the most essential commodities for any organization in the 21st century. Harnessing data and utilizing it to create effective marketing strategies and making better decisions is extremely essential for organizations. For a conglomerate as big as Walmart, it is necessary to organize and analyze the large volumes of data generated to make sense of existing performance and identify growth potential.The main goal of this project is to understand how different factors affect the sales for this conglomerate and how these findings could be used to create more efficient plans and strategies directed at increasing revenue.

This paper explores the performance of a subset of Walmart stores and forecasts future weekly sales for these stores based on several models including linear and lasso regression, random forest, and gradient boosting. An exploratory data analysis has been performed on the dataset to explore the effects of different factors like holidays, fuel price, and temperature on Walmart’s weekly sales. Additionally, a dashboard highlighting information about predicted sales for each of the stores and departments has been created in Power BI and provides an overview of the overall predicted sales.

Through the analysis, it was observed that the gradient boosting model provided the most accurate sales predictions and slight relationships were observed between factors like store size, holidays, unemployment, and weekly sales. Through the implementation of interaction effects, as part of the linear models, relationship between a combination of variables like temperature, CPI, and unemployment was observed and had a direct impact on the sales for Walmart stores.