Then we also had some attrition, where some business that was maybe an opportunistic order last year didn’t repeat itself, and that occurred in XXX a year over a year. (Note: XXX is a name of a city)

It is a script, and I have no idea what "opportunistic order" means. I know the meaning of opportunistic and order, but combining these two confuses me. Does it mean "some business that have performed well in last year didn't do well this year, and this situation occurred in XXX"?

Additionally, what does "a year over a year" mean? Does it mean "over a year"?

The script is about a company's finance performance for its second quarter.


2 Answers 2


In business terminology, opportunistic is usually placed in contrast to strategic (google the terms "opportunistic vs. strategic" and you'll get literally millions of articles from the business press).

Strategic business is deliberately planned in advance. Probably the marketing department has identified and advertised to some likely segment of potential customers; the sales department has actively prospected for leads in that segment; and sales orders have been placed by the people contacted through this strategy.

Opportunistic business is not strategically planned. Either it arrives completely unsolicited (maybe someone stumbles across the company website and places an order), or it comes through the sales channels in a some unplanned way (maybe a sales representative is at their child's school event and discovers that a fellow parent wants to buy what the company is selling).

Typically, strategic business success is much easier to repeat reliably than opportunistic business is, so identifying older sales orders as "opportunistic" is often given as an explanation (some might say an excuse!) as to why that success wasn't repeatable.

As for your second question, "a year over a year" sounds incorrect. You do very often hear "year-over-year" (no articles) in discussions of business results. For example:

Sales decreased in [XXX] year-over-year.

As Spitemaster said in their answer, this expression means "comparing or based on comparing the same time period in successive years." This phrase is used so often that most people who are used to seeing financial reporting will recognize the abbreviation YOY without needing to have it explained.


"Opportunistic order" probably means that a customer, seeing a good price (a good opportunity to buy), bought some of what the company was selling. In context, the company was hoping that was actually a regular order, but it wasn't.

"a year over a year" sounds wrong. It's close to the phrase "year over year" which means "comparing or based on comparing the same time period in successive years" (Merriam-Webster). That doesn't quite make sense in context, though.

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