Business forecasting 101

Common terms and definitions in Business Forecasting

Vanguard has cataloged a small library of notes and definitions of various forecast methods and common issues, including advice and best practices for applying analytic prudence to your data. Check back for new topics and webinar notifications, or Join the Vanguard LinkedIn User Group for tips from peers and alerts on new topics and events.


General concepts

  • Forecasting
  • Demand management
  • Demand forecasting
  • Business forecasting
  • Inventory planning
  • Statistical forecasting
  • Time series forecasting

Forecasting methods

  • Forecasting methods, models, techniques
  • Moving averages
  • Exponential smoothing
  • Regression analysis models
  • Hybrid forecasting methods
  • Decomposition forecasting methods
  • Spectral analysis
  • Custom forecasting models

Forecast fit

  • Residual analysis
  • Determining forecast fit
  • Out of sample testing/ holdout sample
  • Straight line forecast myth
  • Forecast error
  • Symmetric mean absolute percent error (SMAPE)
  • Mean absolute percent error (MAPE)
  • Last absolute deviation z-score
  • Mean absolute deviation (MAD), mean absolute error (MAE)
  • Mean absolute deviation percent (MADP)

Difficult forecasts

  • Spare parts forecasting
  • New product forecasting
  • Using comparables for forecasting

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