Trends – September 2008 Issue

Trends is the e-newsletter from Business Forecast Systems. Trends puts more than two decades worth of forecasting knowledge, experience and expertise at your fingertips every other month. Watch this space for tips & techniques, information & insight, observations & opinions and more.

Forecasting 101: Going Beyond Automatic Forecasting
Part 1: An overview of automated forecasting

In a three part series, Forecasting 101 will discuss the pros and cons of automatic time series forecasting and examine ways to improve your forecasting by using more sophisticated approaches. Many organizations utilize automated algorithms to generate forecasts based on historic data. These time series forecasts are typically either used directly or adjusted judgmentally to establish the final forecasts. This first article overviews automatic time series approaches, examines cases where there may be better approaches and discusses options for generating alternative forecasts.

Read Part 1: An overview of automated forecasting

Trends 30-Second Survey: Forecast Reporting & Analysis

An important consideration when designing an effective forecasting process is forecast reporting and analysis. This installment of the Trends "30-Second Survey" seeks insights into the types of information forecasters report, to whom forecasters present reports and the tools and resources forecasters use for reporting. All responses are anonymous and results will be reported in the next issue of Trends.

Click here to take the survey

Overcoming Politics to Gain Acceptance of Your Forecasts

The best forecasts are useless if they are not accepted by those in power. The political realities of organizations often lead to forecast manipulation to meet sales targets or to satisfy other political ends. At the Forecasting Summit in Boston this month, Dr. Elaine Deschamps will share pragmatic advice on navigating tricky political waters to overcome bias in your forecast process.

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Forecast Pro Tips & Tricks:
Using Forecast Pro's Built-in Outlier Detection and Correction

An outlier is a data point that falls outside of the expected range of the data (i.e., a point which has an unusually large or small value). If you are forecasting a time series that contains an outlier there is a danger that the outlier could have a significant impact on the forecast. Both Forecast Pro XE and Forecast Pro Unlimited can quickly and easily detect, report and even correct for outliers. This article explains how to use Forecast Pro's built-in outlier handling.

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