Introduction to Practical Forecasting

This site is structured to quickly provide busy business leaders with key forecasting tips, techniques, and strategies.

There are some great forecasting tools available now, and many books and in-depth articles have been written on the subject. Forecasting classes are also available. But if you are busy and just need a simple forecast of your profitability, or your expenses, or your sales, etc., these resources may be beyond your time and interest. Or, maybe someone else is doing the forecasting, but you'd like to have more information about appropriate techniques and strategies. If so, this website was created for you. The techniques are simple (very limited statistics, and only when necessary) and visual where possible.

Two overriding goals will drive this site:
  • First, provide tools, techniques and strategies that are easy for busy executives, managers and owners to use, and

  • Second, make it easy to explain the results to others. (If you have the best technique in the world but couldn't explain it to your boss, your banker, your board, your employees, etc. -- how useful is it?)
This site is designed for someone that doesn't do forecasting as a full-time job. If that is your job, this website can still provide some good techniques, some good ideas to help you deal with a difficult problem, and some appropriate references if you want to go deeper into a subject. And by the way, regardless of your job or goal, many of the fundamentals discussed in this website are critical no matter which high-powered tools you might decide to apply to the problem. So these fundamentals might be useful even if you know you need something more powerful.

In the interest of getting practical in a hurry, the site starts with our own Laws of Forecasting. This is a light start to the subject, and hopefully can challenge you to think differently about certain aspects of forecasting, aspects which are especially important for managers. Links are provided within the page for more detail about each of the laws.

Next is a section on Strategy. The section on Laws is primarily focused on constraints, cautions, and limitations on forecasting. The strategy section is constructed to be a guide to how to do it right. This is very important material, regardless of which tools are used.

With the framework of the constraints and strategy established, the site then moves to tools, beginning with the simplest and moving to an introduction to the most sophisticated. (This material will be added in the future, so check back often!)

Proceed to "The Laws of Forecasting"