Measuring forecast accuracy is critical for benchmarking and continuously improving your forecasting process, but where do we start? This article explores why we should measure accuracy, what we need to track, and the key metrics we need to understand to make sense of the data.
There’s no question that judgment can (and probably should!) play a significant role in arriving at your final, consensus forecast–but statistical forecasting can offer a level of automation and insight that can substantially improve your forecast accuracy.
In the 19th century Dr. Wilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, gave birth to the “80/20 rule” when he observed that 80% of the country’s wealth was held by 20% of the population. Today, many organizations find that the 80/20 rule (or a similar ratio) applies to their products—80% of their revenue comes from 20% of [...]
Box-Jenkins (ARIMA) is an important forecasting method that can yield highly accurate forecasts for certain types of data. In this installment of Forecasting 101 we’ll examine the pros and cons of Box-Jenkins modeling, provide a conceptual overview of how the technique works and discuss how best to apply it to business data. […]
An outlier is a data point that falls outside of the expected range of the data (i.e., it is an unusually large or small data point). If you ignore outliers in your data, there is a danger that they can have a significant adverse impact on your forecasts. This article surveys three different approaches to [...]
When you use a statistical model to generate a 12-month forecast, you get more than just twelve numbers. You also get a great deal of information about how the forecast was generated, the model’s fit to the historic data and different measures of expected forecast accuracy. In this article, we dissect and catalogue the different [...]
Sometimes making changes to near-term forecasts can be an expensive proposition. Last minute changes often significantly increase production and procurement costs, decrease profitability, and negatively impact other aspects of the business. To protect against these effects, many companies establish “time fences” to prohibit changes to the forecast over a defined short-term horizon. This edition of Tips & [...]
The newly-published reference book Business Forecasting: Practical Problems and Solutions compiles important and influential literature in the field into a single comprehensive resource for improving your forecasting process. […]
Time series methods are forecasting techniques that base the forecast solely on the demand history of the item you are forecasting. They work by capturing patterns in the historical data and extrapolating those patterns into the future. Time series methods are appropriate when you can assume a reasonable amount of continuity between the past and [...]
In Forecast Pro TRAC, you have the ability to import externally-generated forecasts into the override grid view. We can choose which of these forecasts we want to use as our “baseline” forecast. This can be done either on an item-by-item basis or for groups of items. If we have specified a baseline forecast that is [...]