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Introduction to Forecasting in Business
Learn how to use forecasting for better business decisions to help with budgeting, planning and future growth.
Learn how to solve business problems with forecasting
Whether you need to predict annual sales growth, budgets, or website traffic, forecasting is a powerful decision-making tool for any business.
On this one-week course from Deakin University, you’ll gain insights into how forecasting can contribute to business success.
You’ll learn about some basic types of forecasting and how they can be used in a variety of situations. With this knowledge, you’ll learn how you can take the next steps to apply forecasting to your work context.
Mastering the Future: The Art and Science of Business Forecasting
Forecasting in business is an indispensable compass guiding decision-makers through the intricate maze of uncertainty.
This strategic practice combines artistry and analytical rigor to predict future trends and outcomes, empowering organizations to allocate resources effectively.
From sales projections to market trends, accurate forecasting enables businesses to anticipate shifts and make proactive adjustments.
Leveraging historical data and cutting-edge predictive models, businesses can navigate uncharted territories with confidence.
By embracing the art and science of forecasting, companies position themselves to seize opportunities and mitigate potential risks in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Unveiling Opportunities: Driving Growth through Informed Business Forecasting
In the contemporary business landscape, informed forecasting is the cornerstone of strategic growth. By peering into the crystal ball of data-driven insights, organizations can unearth opportunities that might otherwise remain hidden.
Accurate business forecasting empowers leaders to optimize inventory management, staffing levels, and resource allocation.
Whether it’s predicting demand fluctuations or staying ahead of industry trends, this practice provides a competitive edge.
The synergy of historical analysis and advanced algorithms fuels the engine of informed decision-making, propelling businesses toward sustained success and profitability.
Examine the components of a time series
You’ll start by exploring the concept of time series forecasting and how it can be used in business and economics.
You’ll unpack the different components of a time series, learning how they can be modelled in a forecasting task.
Follow the key steps of forecasting
With an introduction to the uses of forecasting, you’ll learn a basic process for forecasting tasks.
You’ll also explore some conditions and considerations for forecasting, and some basic methods behind more sophisticated modelling techniques.
Learn from the experts at Deakin University
Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by specialists at Deakin Business School as well as industry experts. By the end, you’ll have the insights and knowledge of forecasting to make better business decisions.
What topics will you cover in this business forecasting course?
1.Basic concepts and uses of time series forecasting
Time series forecasting is a pivotal analytical technique that involves predicting future data points based on their historical patterns and sequences.
This method is particularly useful for understanding and predicting trends, patterns, and fluctuations that occur over time.
By analyzing past data points, identifying underlying patterns, and extrapolating them into the future, businesses can make informed decisions about resource allocation, inventory management, demand forecasting, and more.
Time series forecasting finds applications across various domains, including finance, economics, sales, and operations, enabling organizations to optimize strategies, mitigate risks, and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
2. Key steps in forecasting tasks
Successful forecasting tasks entail a systematic approach encompassing key steps. Firstly, data collection is paramount, involving the aggregation of relevant historical data.
Next comes data preprocessing, where inconsistencies and outliers are addressed to ensure accuracy. Selection of an appropriate forecasting model, whether statistical, machine learning-based, or hybrid, follows suit.
Model training using the prepared dataset is a crucial step, where algorithms learn from patterns. Post-training, the model’s performance is evaluated using validation techniques.
After model selection, deployment, and real-time monitoring take center stage, ensuring continuous accuracy and adaptability.
Each step, from data collection to deployment, requires careful consideration to yield precise and actionable forecasts, empowering informed decision-making.
3. Conditions and considerations fore forecasting
Forecasting entails a comprehensive analysis of various conditions and considerations to ensure accurate and reliable predictions. The quality and quantity of historical data play a pivotal role, as adequate data is essential for identifying patterns and trends.
The choice of forecasting methods, whether qualitative or quantitative, hinges on the nature of the data and the specific problem at hand.
Factors like seasonality, trend variations, and external influences must be carefully assessed, as they can significantly impact forecast outcomes.
Additionally, understanding the limitations and assumptions of chosen models is crucial for realistic expectations. Regular model updating and refinement are essential to accommodate changing dynamics and improve accuracy over time.
By meticulously considering these conditions and factors, businesses can enhance the precision of their forecasts and make well-informed decisions to drive success.
4.Basic forecasting methods
Basic forecasting methods encompass a range of fundamental techniques that serve as building blocks for predicting future trends.
Time series analysis, a cornerstone, examines historical data patterns to project future values, making it ideal for data with temporal dependencies.
Moving averages and exponential smoothing are simple yet effective tools for smoothing fluctuations and identifying underlying trends. Additionally, causal forecasting methods analyze relationships between variables, enabling predictions based on cause-and-effect dynamics.
Qualitative methods, such as expert judgment and market research, prove valuable in situations with limited data by leveraging human insights.
These foundational methods form the bedrock of forecasting, providing businesses with essential tools to navigate uncertainty and strategize for the future.
When would you like to start?
Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.
Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…
- Justify uses for forecasting in business and economics
- Identify components of a time series
- Describe basic forecasting methods and processes
Who is the course for?
This course is designed for anyone interested in forecasting and its applications in business.
You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience to join this course.
Hemant Pullabhotla is a Lecturer of Economics in the Department of Economics, Deakin Business School.
Who developed the course?
Deakin University is one of Australia’s largest universities with more than 61,000 students and over 15,000 online.
- LocationMelbourne, Australia
- World rankingTop 280Source: QS World University Rankings 2021