How to Import Overrides and Modifiers from Excel

tipsandtricks

Many Forecast Pro users rely on the software’s expert selection capability to choose the appropriate forecasting techniques and generate the forecasts, and then “tweak” the forecasts as needed. One way to adjust a forecast is to change the forecasting method used; when you do this, a “forecast modifier” appears next to the item in the Navigator to record and maintain your selection. A second option for adjusting the statistical forecast is to apply overrides.

In this edition of Tips and Tricks, we explain how to import overrides and modifiers into Forecast Pro directly from Excel which can save substantial time if you work with large data sets.

Continue reading

Working with External Data and Calculated Rows

tipsandtricksIn Forecast Pro TRAC’s Override View, users have the ability to display five types of information: historical data; forecasts; overrides; external data & calculated rows. At times, when working with your forecasts, visibility to other information such as alternative forecasts generated outside of Forecast Pro or non-forecast data such as current orders or inventory levels can greatly aid the forecasting process.

Forecast Pro TRAC users have the ability to import external data and alternative forecasts into the Forecast Override View and to create customized, calculated rows. This installment of Tips and Tricks includes several examples of how to use this functionality and illustrates the value that this new capability brings to the forecasting process.

Continue reading

Using Forecast Pro’s Built-in Outlier Detection and Correction

tipsandtricks

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. One solution to this problem is to screen the historical data for outliers and replace them with more typical values prior to generating the forecasts. This process is referred to as outlier detection and correction.

Continue reading

Making Judgmental Changes to Forecasts in Forecast Pro TRAC

tipsandtricks

Generating the most accurate forecast often involves creating a statistical forecast and then judgmentally changing the statistical forecast to account for market conditions which aren’t fully reflected in the historical data. Some common examples include: promotions; pipeline fills; large one-time orders; and product introductions or phase outs.

Forecast Pro TRAC accommodates judgmental changes to the statistical forecasts it generates via the Override Forecasts screen. This spreadsheet-style display, as shown in the screenshot below, contains five rows labeled Statistical, Override 1, Override 2, Override 3 and Forecast.

SS2

Continue reading

Supporting Collaborative Processes in Forecast Pro TRAC

tipsandtricks

Over the past couple of decades, business forecasters have come to recognize the importance of collaboration for creating more accurate forecasts; however, in business forecasting, the term “collaboration” doesn’t necessarily have only one definition.

Many forecasting processes can be described as “collaborative.” Some organizations utilize highly-formalized processes (e.g., S&OP, IBP) which involve defined roles, specific data elements, and/or structured meeting schedules. Others deploy less-formalized and more loosely-defined processes which involve creating an initial forecast and allowing various stakeholders to review and even modify (e.g., adjust) the initial forecast.

Continue reading

Exception Reporting in Forecast Pro TRAC (Part II)

tipsandtricks

Forecast Pro TRAC provides a wide array of exception reports, including reports which monitor your archived forecasts (i.e., previously created and saved forecasts) and reports which monitor your current forecasts (i.e., the forecasts you are working with but haven’t yet finalized). Exception reports enable you to quickly find cases where key performance metrics have fallen outside of an acceptable range. In this installment of Forecast Pro Tips & Tricks we look at the Forecasts vs. History Exception Report which monitors current forecasts.

Continue reading

Exception Reporting in Forecast Pro TRAC (Part I)

tipsandtricks

Forecast Pro TRAC provides a wide array of exception reports, including reports which monitor your archived forecasts (i.e., previously created and saved forecasts) and reports which monitor your current forecasts (i.e., the forecasts you are working on but haven’t yet finalized). Exception reports enable you to quickly find cases where your forecast error or some other performance metric has fallen outside of an acceptable range. In this article we explain in detail how to create the Waterfall Exception Report to monitor forecast accuracy.

Continue reading

Forecast Accuracy Measurement & Tracking in Forecast Pro TRAC

tipsandtricksHere’s a question that we get all the time: what forecast accuracy should we target? The answer varies widely across industries and organizations–there is no single “optimal” forecast accuracy (other than 100% accuracy, which is not practical)! The one universal answer is that forecast accuracy can be considered “good” when it is an improvement over the accuracy of the last forecast cycle, and the only way to determine this is by tracking error over time using consistent metrics.

Continue reading

Working with External Data at Multiple Levels

tipsandtricksForecast Pro TRAC Version 3 introduced a feature to import “external” data into Forecast Pro, including elements such as open orders, inventory and other forecasts. This enhancement offers new opportunities to create more meaningful and customized worksheets in Forecast Pro. Initially, external data could only come in at the bottom level of the hierarchy, but with the release of Forecast Pro TRAC Version 3.1 users can now bring in and work with data at any level of the hierarchy. In this edition of Tips and Tricks, we will explore how to work with external data and calculated rows at different hierarchy levels.

Continue reading

Introducing New Releases of Forecast Pro TRAC & Unlimited

update

We are pleased to announce new releases of Forecast Pro TRAC and Forecast Pro Unlimited. For more information about the new features included in each of these products, see the relevant section below.

Forecast Pro TRAC v3.1

A key feature in Forecast Pro TRAC v3.1 is the new Event Manager. This on-screen facility allows you to easily define events, create descriptive event labels and assign events to the items you are forecasting. Continue reading