I'm trying to predict the % attendance of people to gym classes that have previously been booked. It is heavily dependent on the time of day and also a load of other features (is it raining, fraction of class that booked yesterday compared to a week ago, etc.). Random forest alone performs very poorly.
Instead, I tried to predict the difference from the mean for the hour of the day using random forest. Then I just add that on to the mean to recover the desired estimate.
This again performs worse than just the mean itself.
Is this approach (predicting the difference from the mean) a bad idea?
I can't find people using similar methods which makes me think it isn't a good idea.
Is there a better algorithm suited to this task?