Measuring the efficiency of a fragmented calendar

xenium
xenium used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

I looking for a measure of fragmentation, and occupancy of a calendar.

This is to assist in managing calendar events in order to reduce gaps between events and increase overall efficiency.

Attached is an example calendar, the grey bars are events. Each row is a resource. The events can sometimes be moved to different resources, and it can be helpful to quantify the benefit of a move.

What kinds of analysis techniques exist in this area?

Are there any analogies to other systems that could be helpful. eg if the calendar were a river, the bars islands, maybe efficiency might be the average flow rate of the river?

Thanks for your thoughts here.

example calendar
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Calendar events are items in a mail file. A calendar event today may be adjacent to one created today but two years hence. So realistically calendar events do not fragment any more that normal mail fragmentation. In a local system, you can Compact the mail file.

I am not sure that Exchange would care, but calendars there do not especially fragment
Chief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Hi xenium,

It is definitely an avenue for AI/ML/DL in today's time and there are quite a few ongoing/currently in development solutions in this area.

I have seen people using Microsoft Project, Field Service (Resource Schedule Optimization) and Solver Add-in for excel doing it.

As I am not aware the business case you are targeting I would recommend you have a look at Solver:https://support.office.com/en-us/article/load-the-solver-add-in-in-excel-612926fc-d53b-46b4-872c-e24772f078ca

If you can describe the business challenge you are trying to solve I am sure I can suggest couple of techniques being used today to optimize the schedules.

Regards,
Chinmay.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your comments.

John i'm referring to another kind of fragmentation so not sure your comment is relevant in this case.

Chinmay, that sounds reasonable. I think the first challenge is defining a useful metric of what is "good" so that any kind of solver can work towards that. Maybe i need to provide more info to get to that, but for now was wandering if there are any standards out there.

One metric is occupancy - what % of the resource is being scheduled to become occupied. This is straightforward. But another measure is fragmentation.

The context is serviced accommodation. eg an advanced sale for only a few days can have negative value if the opportunity cost of a "better" fit exceeds the sale price.

Sorry that's a terrible explanation I'll try to give a better example later.

Thanks again
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Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi Xenium,

Optimized (Manual, Algorithm based, AI Assisted) Scheduling is a technique that can help you mitigate fragmentation. I understand when you say fragmentation it means the gaps in the adjacent bookings for a resource(A room in this case). However, there are other questions, would you move / cancel shorter bookings in favor of long term bookings? if so, what are the thresholds?

In addition, we can calculate the gaps of individual room (over a period of time) and then call that value fragmentation and get the percent value.

Your thoughts?

Regards,
Chinmay.

Author

Commented:
hi Chinmay,

Thank you that's right.
I guess some kind of model is needed since there is no easy answer to those questions.
I have some data i could use to test and tune a model (resource, start date, end date, value)

Any other thoughts let me know else i'll close the question soon, and add any comments in due course if i'm able to progress this.

Thanks

Author

Commented:
ps additional data includes demand (start date, end date, market price)
Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hmmm your second comment I think it will actually complicate your first step. Eventually, yes you would want to forecast(That's why field services uses a little bit of AI to predict the scheduling aspect) but the first step should be getting existing schedules less fragmented (I suppose).

Author

Commented:
Thank you for your input, good points.
Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Glad I could help :)

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