As part of PPAI’s commitment to premium research as a benefit to Professional-tier members, the Association has entered into a new partnership with ITR Economics, one of the oldest privately held economic research and consulting firms in the United States.

Established in 1948 and known for its 94.7% forecast accuracy, ITR Economics’s business-minded economists offer unbiased and apolitical insights, leveraging the organization’s powerful datasets to provide objective forecasts and analysis tools.

Through the new partnership, Silver, Gold and Platinum PPAI members can now enjoy free access to a quarterly newsletter with top industry forecasts and Alliance DataCast, a robust data analysis tool.

Typically, an ITR subscription costs more than $1,200 annually for forecasts alone. However, PPAI is proud to include these forecasts, along with full access to DataCast, as a member benefit. 

  • The first quarterly report was sent out in May to Professional-tier members’ primary PPAI contact and voting members.
  • Alliance DataCast was formally introduced to attendees of PPAI’s North American Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City that same month.

PPAI Media spoke with Alok Bhat, market economist and research lead at PPAI, to learn more about the new partnership, how Professional-tier members will benefit from the quarterly trends newsletter and Alliance DataCast and how the tools will assist members with their strategic planning and decision-making.

PPAI Media: What is the significance of the new partnership between PPAI and ITR Economics?

Alok Bhat: In our industry, staying proactive and ahead of the curve means deeply understanding market trends and economic conditions. We recognized that traditional methods of account planning, budgeting, demand forecasting and strategic data analysis often rely heavily on personal perceptions and predictions.

Given the current economic fluctuations, supply chain uncertainties and the upcoming elections, we saw a critical need for robust tools that provide deep analytical insights. Our search led us to ITR Economics, whose proven track record made it the perfect partner.

PPAI Media: What are some of the key challenges PPAI members face that Alliance DataCast aims to address?

Bhat: In our daily operations, we all tackle crucial tasks like account planning, budgeting, demand forecasting and strategic data analysis. Traditionally, these processes have been guided by our own perceptions and predictions. However, there’s always been a desire for more concrete data to back up our decisions.

Alliance DataCast addresses these challenges by offering real-time data visualization, customized dashboards and access to thousands of economic and industry-specific indicators. This comprehensive tool helps our members make informed, data-driven decisions.

PPAI Media: What sets ITR Economics apart from other economic forecasting firms?

Bhat: ITR Economics stands out for several reasons. Firstly, it has been a pillar in economic research and forecasting since 1948, demonstrating its credibility and expertise. Secondly, it boasts an exceptional forecast accuracy rate of 94.7%, even during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic. Its predictions are free from political or ideological influences, providing clear, unbiased economic insights.

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Moreover, its team consists of business-minded economists who focus not just on data but on delivering practical and profitable insights. This combination of experience, accuracy and objectivity makes ITR Economics a trusted partner for us.

PPAI Media: Learning new systems can often be confusing and tiresome. How easy is it to use Alliance DataCast?

Bhat: One of the standout features of Alliance DataCast is its design, which caters to non-economists. The interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it accessible to all team members, regardless of their economic expertise. Additionally, ITR Economics provides ongoing support and guidance, ensuring users can maximize the tool’s capabilities for their business needs.

PPAI Media: Can you elaborate on the features and benefits of Alliance DataCast?

Bhat: Alliance DataCast offers a range of powerful features, including real-time charting for instant data visualization, customizable dashboards tailored to specific business needs and access to thousands of economic and industry-specific indicators. This comprehensive support ensures our members can effectively leverage the tool for strategic planning, budget planning, sales and demand planning and more.

PPAI Media: How can PPAI members access and start using Alliance DataCast?

Bhat: Accessing Alliance DataCast is straightforward. Members can visit the link provided on the PPAI Media site or in the email that PPAI sent out. Once there, they need to complete a brief form using their six-digit PPAI member ID to log in. After logging in, they’ll have full access to all the features and functionalities of Alliance DataCast.

The tool also comes with a simple four-step process for uploading data and running analyses, making it easy for members to start leveraging its capabilities right away. 

PPAI Media: What impact do you anticipate Alliance DataCast will have on PPAI members’ strategic planning and decision-making?

Bhat: We believe Alliance DataCast will be a game-changer for our members’ strategic planning and decision-making. By providing real-time data, detailed economic insights and comprehensive analysis, the tool will enable members to make more informed, data-driven decisions. This will help them stay ahead of market trends, optimize their operations and ultimately drive their business growth. We’re excited to see the positive impact this tool will have on our industry.

PPAI Media: Is there anything else you would like to share about the partnership with ITR Economics and the introduction of Alliance DataCast?

Bhat: We’re thrilled to bring this powerful resource to our members and confident that it will provide significant value. The partnership with ITR Economics and the introduction of Alliance DataCast is a testament to our commitment to supporting our members with the best tools and resources available. We encourage all our members to take advantage of these offerings and reach out to us with any questions or feedback. Together, we can navigate the future with confidence and success.

NOTE: Professional members can access Alliance DataCast by visiting