Will Analytics Confirm Increase in Driving, Shopping?

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Izenda, home to embedded, self-service analytics.How are you cooking your turkey? Where you live seems to influence how you prepare the Thanksgiving feast according to Google search trends.

As we do on many U.S. holiday, let’s take a look at some of the data gleaned from surveys and reports. How would you analyze this kind of data in your application?

In the South, smoke turkey had more searches via Google, while in the Northeast roast turkey got the nod. The Midwest split between roast and smoke turkey styles. Much of the West favored roast turkey, with a few states picking smoke turkey.

But you need more than even that humongous turkey to feed the extended family. You’ll also have turkey dressing, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes, based on trending Thanksgiving recipes.

Pumpkin pie gets the nod as the most searched pie in most of the country, though quite a few Southern states and the Northeast seem to favor apple. I’d be happy with both of them.

Of course, cooks who have favorite recipes won’t be searching, so take this data with a grain of salt.

Turkey Dinner with All the Fixings

That holiday dinner seems to be a tiny bit cheaper this year, according to a survey by statista.com. In 2015 the average cost for a 10-person Thanksgiving feast amounted to $50.11. This year it’s $49.87. The dinner includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk.

Thanksgiving Day Football Best Left to the Pros

Either before or after the Thanksgiving dinner, a bunch of us like to head outside for a game of football. But that might not be such a good idea. If you haven’t been exercising and stretching all year long, it’s time to stay on the sidelines.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that Thanksgiving Day is the king of the football injury, according to an article by fivethirtyeight.com contributor Ben Casselman. While the number seems to be dropping, in 2014 about 550 Americans 25 and older went to the ER with injuries sustained playing football. That was down from more than 750 people in 2013. Just 4 years earlier, more than 1,400 people had to go to the ER for football injuries.

Another Million Travelers Add to Crowded Highways

But to feast on that holiday dinner, many of us need to travel to join the family. AAA projects that 48.7 million of us will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving. That’s up 1 million from last year and the most since 2007. The holiday travel period started Wednesday, Nov. 23, and ends Sunday, Nov. 27.

Most holiday travelers will be driving. AAA predicts more than 89 percent of them will be on the highways and streets.

Highway Fatalities Expected to Increase

You’re rushing home or to a relative’s house to make it in time after an exhausting day in a short work week. Later, you head home with little rest and having eaten way too much Thanksgiving dinner. Slow down and pull over when you feel sleepy so you and your family don’t become statistics.

The National Safety Council estimates that 437 people may die during the holiday travel period. That’s 12 percent more than the average number during the past 6 Thanksgivings. Another 50,300 serious injuries are predicted in motor vehicle-related crashes.

Holiday, Black Friday Sales to Rise

The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday sales will increase 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion in 2016. That’s an average of $938.58 spent per shopper. An article on thebalance.com figures that’s overly optimistic, as the NRF forecast was $4.4 billion too high last year.

Bankrate survey says 28 percent fewer adults will shop in stores on Black Friday than in 2014. Sales will increase 2.6 percent over last year even though only 23 percent of adults will be out shopping. But 26 percent of adults plan to shop online, so the trend to shop online vs. in brick and mortar stores continues.

Maybe the ease of shopping online and avoiding the stress of the holiday crush in stores is the reason for more Black Friday spending. The Bankrate survey found consumers expect to spend $300 this year. That’s $100 more than in 2014.

Have a happy holiday and stay safe on the roads – and shopping in cyberspace. To avoid Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping hackers, read this article by Network World’s Tim Greene.
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