Volume Forecast Data Analyst

Posted Jan 4, 2021
Project ID: UNILJP00011709
6 months
(Feb 1, 2021 - Jul 31, 2021)
40 hrs/week
Payrate range
47 - 67 €/hr


The Integrated Operations Benelux team consists of various roles that make Excellent Execution a success. One of these roles is the Volume Forecast Analyst. Less time spent on Running the Business to reinvest in Growing the Business whilst Improving Customer and Employee Satisfaction is the vision of Integrated operations. Integrated Operations brings Finance, Supply Chain, and Sales within Unilever Benelux together in realizing excellent execution. The 4 principles driving Integrated Operations are end-to-end ownership, maximized automation, one version of the truth, and continuous improvement. Team members within Integrated Operations embrace the vision and their daily work practice reflects the 4 principles of Integrated Operations. Integrated Operations effectively works in a cross-country setting, embracing cultural diversity and working in virtual teams.

Competencies key to make Integrated Operations a success, are: 

  • Practical creativity
  • Enterprising behavior
  • Ability to learn


The Volume Forecast Data Analyst has the responsibility for the full-term volume demand forecast per cluster for the Benelux. In this role, the Volume Forecast Data Analyst will contribute to the standard business process (S&OP), in close cooperation with the Value Forecast Analyst, Supply chain Specialist, and Sales.  

This contains the responsibility for the total volume forecast over the Home Care business category for a rolling horizon of 18 months. The main focus is on the horizon of 2 - 6 months providing the business with a robust rolling volume forecast using category market intelligence to translate the plans of sales/marketing and market dynamics into a volume forecast. This volume forecast is input for Unilever’s Supply Chain network to make production plans in the factories. The Forecast Excellence Data Analyst is the driver of the demand volume forecast in the S&OP process (Business Forecast Process). 

Further, within the Benelux, we are in a process of professionalizing our planning systems, building principles as artificial intelligence and machine learning into the planning process. The Forecast Excellence Data Analyst will have a role in continuously improving these predictive models as well as simplifying or automating the way of working, enhancing the tools and systems in use and contribute to other developments. Hence, affinity with these principles combined with the ambition to be part of this journey, is important for the right candidate. Some scripting experience is required, in order to understand and easily communicate with partners and experienced data- scientist & engineers.

This results in an exciting balance between strategic planning, analysis, actions plans resulting from this, and stakeholder and business management. Strong relations are essential in this role.             

Demand Planning: 

  • Responsible for both base and promotional planning (0-18 months) 
  • Responsible for promotional predictive model with input of promotional parameters from sales. 
  • Responsible for KPI’s as Forecast Accuracy, Forecast Bias, exceptions and outliers  
  • Integrate top-down forecast in bottom-up 
  • Manage volume exception driven by sales input in overall volume forecast 
  • Translate the innovation and relaunches forecast for the full horizon (0-18 months) in Unilever’s planning tools. 
  • Manage Assumptions, Risks and Opportunities & translate to volume impact
  • Actively contribute to the improvement roadmap – both in execution as well as in proactively propose potential opportunities. 
  • Analyze datasets and predictive model performance 

Business partnering: 

  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with Performance Manager, Supply chain Specialist, Sales, Trade Category Management, Brand Building, and Business Partners for forecast optimization purposes and perfect execution of product launches. 
  • Understand the dynamics of the business in order to communicate and distribute the correct information to the business (develop a high degree of business sense).  
  • Report to the Forecast Lead BNX

Working on improvement Projects

  • Collaborate on optimizing and improving the predictive models together with experienced data scientists & engineers
  • Be the analytical translator from the data scientist & engineer towards the business and partners
  • Start a project from scratch with a third parties/stakeholders/ consulting partner that will help the business to automate a certain process and save costs 
  • Build your own scripts that support teams, monitor the data quality in the systems or sends an automatic email to recipients that need to perform a task
  • Visualize your projects with a visualization tool (e.g. PowerBI, Google Data Studio) to let the data speak and influence
  • Know how to simplify processes and save time by doing so 




  • A strong affinity with data & technology is a must 
  • It takes a mix of analytical thinking and creative business thinking to succeed 
  • Have a genuine passion about new technology developments, machine learning methodologies and artificial intelligence.
  • Experience with scripting- and/or (domain-specific) programming languages (e.g. Python, VBA, SQL, R, PySpark) 
  • Know how to work with visualization tools like PowerBI, Google Data Studio or Tableau
  • Get excited by starting a new technology project from scratch with lots of freedom whilst liking to think strategically about how their value could be harnessed 
  • Have a basic understanding of databases (e.g. Azure Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, Hive, Hadoop)
  • Operational experience in either Supply Chain or Sales a pre
  • Experience in the area of FMCG is preferred 
  • Languages: fluent in English and Dutch a pre    


  • Practical creativity
  • Analytical ability 
  • Enterprising behavior
  • Influencing others
  • Ability to learn
  • Pro-active mindset
  • Take ownership
  • System thinking / dealing with complexity
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Data-driven decision making

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