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International Journal of Forecasting 22 (2006) 823 824 www.elsevier.


Book review
John E. Hanke, Dean W. Wichern, Business Forecasting (8th edition), Pearson, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2005, Softcover (software enclosed), 535 pages, ISBN: 0-13-122856-0 This is the 8th edition of a well established title commonly used by Colleges and Universities worldwide. Having read editions 57 (1995, 1998 and 2001 respectively), I have often referred back to those for teaching related purposes and have been pleased to find that the last edition has been substantially revised to reflect changes in the relevant knowledge base. Although the bflavourQ of earlier editions has naturally been retained, added emphasis has been placed on the more recent theoretical developments and empirical findings. Outdated material has been eliminated and the book has been considerably re-organised with the addition of new problems, examples, datasets and cases. The goal of the 8th edition of Business Forecasting remains the same as that of the previous editions: to present the basic statistical techniques that are useful for preparing individual business forecasts and long-range plans. The book is written in a simple, straightforward style and it makes extensive use of practical business examples. Fiftythree cases are outlined, throughout the chapters, providing the student with the necessary link between theoretical concepts and their real-world applications, thereby emphasising the application of techniques by management for decision making. Students are assumed to have taken an introductory course in Statistics and to be comfortable with using the computer to access software packages such as spreadsheets. Minitab and Excel instructions are presented at the end of most chapters. Crystal Ball (CB) Predictor instructions are presented at the end of chapters 4 bMoving Averages

and Smoothing MethodsQ and 9 bThe BoxJenkins (ARIMA) MethodologyQ. A student solutions manual consisting of answers to various problems is included in the enclosed CD, along with useful ASCII, Excel and Minitab data files. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the CD is the inclusion of the student version of Crystal Ball predictor (an Excel add-in). The book is, conceptually, divided into six sections. Section 1 (Chapters 12) presents background material. A discussion on the nature of forecasting and a quick review of basic statistical concepts (sampling distributions, inference from a sample, hypothesis testing, correlation analysis, etc.) set the stage for the coverage of techniques that begins in the second section. The second section (Chapter 3) emphasises the exploration of data patterns for the purpose of choosing a forecasting technique. The third section (Chapters 45) covers averaging, smoothing techniques and an introduction to time series decomposition in terms of underlying components. The fourth section (Chapters 67) emphasises causal forecasting techniques, such as correlation, regression and multiple regression analysis. The fifth section (Chapters 89) looks at techniques used to forecast time series data (Regression with time series data and the BoxJenkins methodology). The book concludes with a final section (Chapters 1011) on judgemental forecasting and forecast adjustments, along with a discussion of managing and monitoring the forecasting process. In summary, this is a very comprehensive account covering, predominantly, standard material in the area of business forecasting. The book is very well structured and is organised in a way that will assist students to understand the relevant theoretical concepts and the corresponding practical applications. Although the core of the book remains the same as


Book review

that of the previous editions, it is worthwhile pointing out the considerable re-structuring, reorganisation and enrichment of the material presented to reflect more recent advancements in the area of business forecasting.

A. A. Syntetos University of Salford, The School of Management, Maxwell Building, The Crescent, Salford M5 4WT, United Kingdom E-mail address: