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# FORECASTING TECHNIQUES

Chapter 16 Qualitative Approaches to Forecasting Quantitative Approaches to Forecasting The Components of a Time Series Using Smoothing Methods in Forecasting Measures of Forecast Accuracy Using Trend Projection in Forecasting Using Regression Analysis in Forecasting

## Dr. C. Lightner Fayetteville State University

Forecasting Introduction
An essential aspect of managing any organization is planning for the future. Organizations employ forecasting techniques to determine future inventory, costs, capacities, and interest rate changes. There are two basic approaches to forecasting: -Qualitative -Quantitative

## Qualitative Approaches to Forecasting

Delphi Approach
A panel of experts, each of whom is physically separated from the others and is anonymous, is asked to respond to a sequential series of questionnaires. After each questionnaire, the responses are tabulated and the information and opinions of the entire group are made known to each of the other panel members so that they may revise their previous forecast response. The process continues until some degree of consensus is achieved.

## Qualitative Approaches (continued)

Scenario Writing
Scenario writing consists of developing a conceptual scenario of the future based on a well defined set of assumptions. After several different scenarios have been developed, the decision maker determines which is most likely to occur in the future and makes decisions accordingly.

## Qualitative Approaches (continued)

Subjective or Interactive Approaches
These techniques are often used by committees or panels seeking to develop new ideas or solve complex problems. They often involve "brainstorming sessions". It is important in such sessions that any ideas or opinions be permitted to be presented without regard to its relevancy and without fear of criticism.

## Quantitative Approaches to Forecasting

Quantitative methods are based on an analysis of historical data concerning one or more time series. A time series is a set of observations measured at successive points in time or over successive periods of time. If the historical data used are restricted to past values of the series that we are trying to forecast, the procedure is called a time series method. If the historical data used involve other time series that are believed to be related to the time series that we are trying to forecast, the procedure is called a causal method. Quantitative approaches are generally preferred. In this chapter we will focus on quantitative approaches to forecasting.
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## Time Series Data

Time Series Data is usually plotted on a graph to determine the various characteristics or components of the time series data. There are 4 Major Components: Trend, Cyclical, Seasonal, and Irregular Components.

## Components of a Time Series

The trend component accounts for the gradual shifting of the time series over a long period of time. Any regular pattern of sequences of values above and below the trend line is attributable to the cyclical component of the series. The seasonal component of the series accounts for regular patterns of variability within certain time periods, such as over a year. The irregular component of the series is caused by short-term, unanticipated and non-recurring factors that affect the values of the time series. One cannot attempt to predict its impact on the time series in advance.
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## Time Series Data

We will learn the following Forecasting Approaches: Smoothing Trend Projections

## Excel Instructions for Drawing a Scatter Plot

1. Enter data in the Excel spreadsheet. 2. Click on Insert on the toolbar and then click on the Chart tab. The Chart Wizard will appear. In step 1 on select the XY (scatter) chart type and then click next. 3. In step 2 specify the cells where your data is located in the data range box. 4. In step 3 you can give your chart a title and label your axes. In step 4 specify where you want the chart to be placed.

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## Example: Roberts Drugs

During the past ten weeks, sales of cases of Comfort brand headache medicine at Robert's Drugs have been as follows: Week Sales 1 110 2 115 3 125 4 120 5 125 Plot this data. Week 6 7 8 9 10 Sales 120 130 115 110 130

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## Plot Roberts Drugs Example

Excel Spreadsheet Showing Input Data. Specify cells A4:B13 as the Data Range. A B
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Robert's Drugs Week (t ) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Salest 110 115 125 120 125 120 130 115 110 130
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## Plot Roberts Drugs Example

Robert's Drug Example
135 130

## I labeled Roberts Drug Example as The Chart title

Sales
I labeled Sales as My Value (y) axis

## 125 120 115 110 105 0 5 Week, t

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## I labeled Week, t as My Value (x) axis

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Smoothing Methods
In cases in which the time series is fairly stable and has no significant trend, seasonal, or cyclical effects, one can use smoothing methods to average out the irregular components of the time series. Three common smoothing methods are: Moving average Weighted moving average Exponential smoothing

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## Smoothing Methods: Moving Average

Moving Average Method The moving average method consists of computing an average of the most recent n data values for the series and using this average for forecasting the value of the time series for the next period.

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## Robert Drugs Example: Moving Average

Our scatter plot for Roberts Drug Sales has no significant trend, seasonal, or cyclical effects. Thus we should employ a smoothing technique for forecasting sales.

Forecast the sales for period 11 using a three period moving average (MA3).

## Dr. C. Lightner Fayetteville State University

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Example: Roberts Drugs: Moving Average Steps to Moving Average Using Excel Step 1: Select the Tools pull-down menu. Step 2: Select the Data Analysis option. Step 3: When the Data Analysis Tools dialog appears, choose Moving Average. Step 4: When the Moving Average dialog box appears: Enter B4:B13 in the Input Range box. This specifies the value of n Enter 3 in the Interval box. Enter C5 in the Output Range box. This is the column following our data, and one row below where Select OK.
our data begins.
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## Roberts Drugs: Moving Average

MA3 (Three period Moving average) for Roberts Drug Example
Robert's Drug
Week (t ) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Yt 110 115 125 120 125 120 130 115 110 130 n=3 Ft #N/A #N/A 116.6667 120 123.3333 121.6667 125 121.6667 118.3333 118.3333

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## Smoothing Methods: Weighted Moving Average

Weighted Moving Average Method The weighted moving average method consists of computing a weighted average of the most recent n data values for the series and using this weighted average for forecasting the value of the time series for the next period. The more recent observations are typically given more weight than older observations. For convenience, the weights usually sum to 1. The regular moving average gives equal weight to past data values when computing a forecast for the next period. The weighted moving average allows different weights to be allocated to past data values. There is no Excel command for computing this so you must do this manually. You can either manually enter the formulas into excel and apply to all periods or compute value by hand.
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## Smoothing Methods: Weighted Moving Average

Use a 3 period weighted moving average to forecast the sales for week 11 giving a weight of 0.6 to the most recent period, 0.3 to the second most recent period, and 0.1 to the third most recent period. F11 = (0.6)*130 + (0.3)*110 + (0.1)* 115= 122.5
Sales for the most recent period Sales for 2nd most recent period Sales for 3rd most recent period

## Thus we would forecast the sales for week 11 to be 122.5.

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## Smoothing Methods: Exponential Smoothing

Exponential Smoothing
Using exponential smoothing, the forecast for the next period is equal to the forecast for the current period plus a proportion () of the forecast error in the current period. Using exponential smoothing, the forecast is calculated by: This is the same as Ft+1= Yt + (1- )Ft Ft+1 = Ft + (Yt Ft)

where: is the smoothing constant (a number between 0 and 1) Ft is the forecast for period t Ft +1 is the forecast for period t+1 Yt is the actual data value for period t
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## Roberts Drugs: Exponential Smoothing

Forecast the sales for period 11 using Exponential Smoothing = 0.1.

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## Roberts Drugs: Exponential Smoothing

Steps to Exponential Smoothing Using Excel
Step 1: Select the Tools pull-down menu. Step 2: Select the Data Analysis option. Step 3: When the Data Analysis Tools dialog appears, choose Exponential Smoothing. Step 4: When the Exponential Smoothing dialog box appears: Enter B4:B13 in the Input Range box. Enter 0.9 (for = 0.1) in Damping Factor box. Damping factor is always 1- Enter C4 in the Output Range box. Select OK.

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## Roberts Drugs: Exponential Smoothing

Robert's Drugs =0.1 Week (t ) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Salest 110 115 125 120 125 120 130 115 110 130 Ft #N/A 110 110.5 111.95 112.755 113.9795 114.5816 116.1234 116.0111 115.4099

## F11 = 0.1 * Y10 + .9 F10 = .1 *130 + .9 * 115.4099 = 116.87

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## Questions That You Should Be Asking

For the Moving Average technique, how do I determine the best value of n to use for forecasting? For Exponential Smoothing, how do I determine the best value of to use? If I realize that a smoothing technique should be employed, how do you know which smoothing technique is best? In order to answer the above questions, we need criteria for judging the accuracy of a forecasting technique. Once we select a criterion, the method (or parameter) which provides the best value for our criterion is the best method (or parameter) to use for forecasting our scenario.

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## Measures of Forecast Accuracy

Mean Squared Error (MSE) The average of the squared forecast errors for the historical data is calculated. The forecasting method or parameter(s) which minimize this mean squared error is then selected. Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD) The mean of the absolute values of all forecast errors is calculated, and the forecasting method or parameter(s) which minimize this measure is selected. The mean absolute deviation measure is less sensitive to individual large forecast errors than the mean squared error measure. You may choose either of the above criteria for evaluating the accuracy of a method (or parameter).
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## Selecting the best Smoothing Technique for Roberts Drugs

Determine the smoothing technique that is best for forecasting Roberts Drug sales: A two period moving average, a three period moving average, exponential smoothing (=0.1), or exponential smoothing (=0.2)

Realistically we should have experimented with more values of n for the moving average, and for exponential smoothing to determine the absolute best parameters to use for our technique. On the next slide we randomly chose to use the MSE criterion to judge the best technique.

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## Roberts Drugs :Comparing Smoothing Techniques

Double click on the Excel sheet below to enter actual Excel spreadsheet that I created. Clicking on individual cells will provide the formulas that were entered to compute the observed values.
Robert's Drug Sales Week (t )
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

n=2 Yt Ft
#N/A 112.5 120 122.5 122.5 122.5 125 122.5 112.5 120

## Error (Yt - Ft) (Yt - Ft)

12.5 0 2.5 -2.5 7.5 -10 -12.5 17.5 MSE
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## MSE for MA2

110 115 125 120 125 120 130 115 110 130

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## Roberts Drugs :Comparing Smoothing Techniques

Robert's Drug Sales Week (t )
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

n=3 Yt Ft

## Error (Yt - Ft) (Yt - Ft)

2

110 115 125 120 125 120 130 115 110 130

#N/A #N/A 116.6667 3.333333 11.11111 120 5 25 123.3333 -3.33333 11.11111 121.6667 8.333333 69.44444 125 -10 100 121.6667 -11.6667 136.1111 118.3333 11.66667 136.1111 118.3333 MSE 69.84127

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## Roberts Drugs :Comparing Smoothing Techniques

Sales Week (t )
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Yt
110 115 125 120 125 120 130 115 110 130

=0.1 Ft

## Error (Yt - Ft) (Yt - Ft)2

MSE for Exponential Smoothing =0.1

#N/A 110 5 25 110.5 14.5 210.25 111.95 8.05 64.8025 112.755 12.245 149.94 113.9795 6.0205 36.24642 114.5816 15.41845 237.7286 116.1234 -1.1234 1.262016 116.0111 -6.01106 36.13279 115.4099 14.59005 212.8696 MSE 108.248

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## Roberts Drugs :Comparing Smoothing Techniques

Sales Week (t )
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Yt
110 115 125 120 125 120 130 115 110 130

=0.2 Ft

## Error (Yt - Ft) (Yt - Ft)2

25 196 38.44 99.2016 8.809024 153.1258 26.0149 82.45337 162.1979 87.91584

#N/A 110 5 111 14 113.8 6.2 115.04 9.96 117.032 2.968 117.6256 12.3744 120.1005 -5.10048 119.0804 -9.08038 117.2643 12.73569 MSE

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## Roberts Drugs :Comparing Smoothing Techniques

Since the three period moving average technique (MA3) provides to lowest MSE value, this is the best smoothing technique to use for forecasting Roberts Drug Sales.

## Dr. C. Lightner Fayetteville State University

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Trend Projection
If a time series exhibits a linear trend, the method of least squares may be used to determine a trend line (projection) for future forecasts. Least squares, also used in regression analysis, determines the unique trend line forecast which minimizes the mean square error between the trend line forecasts and the actual observed values for the time series. The independent variable is the time period and the dependent variable is the actual observed value in the time series.

## Dr. C. Lightner Fayetteville State University

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Trend Projection
Using the method of least squares, the formula for the trend projection is: Yt = b0 + b1t. where: Yt = trend forecast for time period t b1 = slope of the trend line b0 = trend line projection for time 0

b1 = n tYt - t Yt

b0 Y b1 t

nt 2 - (t )2
where: Yt = observed value of the time series at time period t
t

tt

## = average time period for the n observations

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## Example: Augers Plumbing Service

The number of plumbing repair jobs performed by Auger's Plumbing Service in each of the last nine months are listed below.

## Jobs 399 412 408

Forecast the number of repair jobs Auger's will perform in December using the least squares method.

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## Augers Plumbing Service: Trend Projection

Trend Projection (month) t Yt tYt t2

(Mar.) (Apr.) (May) (June) (July) (Aug.) (Sep.) (Oct.) (Nov.) Sum

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 45

353 387 342 374 396 409 399 412 408 3480

353 774 1026 1496 1980 2454 2793 3296 3672 17844

1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81 285
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## Example: Augers Plumbing Service

Trend Projection (continued)

t t = 45/9 = 5

Y = 3480/9 = 386.667
(9)(17844) - (45)(3480) = 7.4 (9)(285) - (45)2

ntYt - t Yt b1 = = n t 2 - ( t)2

b0 Y b1 t

## = 386.667 - 7.4(5) = 349.667

Thus our trend line is Yt = 349.667 + 7.4 t. Y10 = 349.667 + (7.4)(10) = 423.667
For December t=10
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## Augers Plumbing Service: Trend Line in Excel

Excel Spreadsheet Showing Input Data A B C 1 Auger's Plumbing Service 2 3 Month Calls 4 1 353 5 2 387 6 3 342 7 4 374 8 5 396 9 6 409 10 7 399 11 8 412 12 9 408 13
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## Example: Augers Plumbing Service

Steps to Trend Projection Using Excel Step 1: Select an empty cell (B13) in the worksheet. Step 2: Select the Insert pull-down menu. Step 3: Choose the Function option. Step 4: When the Select Category dialog box appears: Choose Statistical in Function Category box. Choose Forecast in the Function Name box. Select OK. Step 5: When the Forecast dialog box appears: Enter 10 in the x box (for month 10). Enter B4:B12 in the Known ys box. Enter A4:A12 in the Known xs box. Select OK.
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## Example: Augers Plumbing Service

Spreadsheet Showing Trend Projection for Month 10
Auger's Plumbing Service Month 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Calls 353 387 342 374 396 409 399 412 408 423.667

Projected
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## Roberts Drug Example

Suppose we neglected to plot Roberts Drug example, and therefore we do not know that a trend does not exist. Use trend analysis to forecast the sales for month 11.

Week (t )
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Yt
110 115 125 120 125 120 130 115 110 130 124

Forecast

## Dr. C. Lightner Fayetteville State University

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Question????
How could we use the MSE or MAD to verify that the MA3 is a better smoothing technique than trend analysis for Roberts Drug Sales data?

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## Causal Method: Regression Analysis

Regression Analysis is similar to trend analysis, except the independent variable is not restricted to time. Refer to Roberts Drug example. Instead of letting time represent our independent variable, we could forecast sales based upon the price of the product. Since products often go on sale, we could collect data over several months collecting the weekly price and number of items sold for the week. For this model, we would find the regression equation in the same manner in which we found the trend line except we would call the independent variable x, instead of t.

## Dr. C. Lightner Fayetteville State University

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Regression Equation
Using the method of least squares, the formula for the regression line is: Y = b0 + b1x. where: Y= dependent variable which depends on the value of x b1 = slope of the regression line b0 = regression line projection for x= 0

b1 = n XiYi - Xi Yi

b0 y b1 x

nXi2 - (Xi)2
where: Yt = observed value of the time series at time period t
t

tt

## = average time period for the n observations

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## Regression Analysis in Excel

The dependent variable Y can predicted using the same forecast function in Excel as used to forecast a trend line. Follow the same steps provided on slide 39.

## Dr. C. Lightner Fayetteville State University

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THE END

See your textbook for more examples and detailed explanations of all topics discussed in these notes.

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