January 10-12, 2018 • London, England

March 7-9, 2018 • Orlando, Florida

 

Overview

This seminar surveys the most commonly used business forecasting methods, explains how they work conceptually, discusses their pros and cons, and demonstrates best practices for implementing them in a real-world environment. You will leave with insight into all aspects of business forecasting and a working knowledge of proven forecasting methods.

During the hands-on workshops, you will have the opportunity to solve your forecasting challenges by applying what you have learned using state-of-the-art software under the guidance of expert instructors.

Seminar Highlights

  • Introduction to business forecasting
  • Components of data
  • Time series methods including Exponential Smoothing, Box-Jenkins and the Croston’s intermittent demand model
  • Advanced techniques including event modeling, top-down reconciliation and dynamic regression
  • New product forecasting methods
  • Forecast accuracy and evaluation
  • Computer workshops using Forecast Pro
  • Networking with your peers during lunches and cocktail reception

Who should attend?


The seminar is valuable for anyone whose job responsibilities include preparing or analyzing forecasts—some prior knowledge of statistics is helpful but not essential. The tutorials use Forecast Pro and real-world data to provide a deeper understanding of the forecasting methods and to show best practices; these lessons are applicable regardless of which forecasting software your organization uses.

Schedule

Day 1
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Introduction to Forecasting
Components of Data
Exponential Smoothing
Forecasting Accuracy and Evaluation
PC Workshop
Evening Cocktail Reception
Day 2
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Box-Jenkins (ARIMA) Models
Event-Index Models
Large-Scale Forecasting
Multiple-Level Forecasting
PC Workshop 2
Day 3
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
New Product Forecasting
Dynamic Regression
PC Workshop 3
Day 1
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Introduction to Forecasting
A broad overview of business forecasting and its various uses within the organization. Topics include approaches to forecasting, features of data, the role of judgment, selection of appropriate forecasting methods for varied data sets and resources for forecasters.
Morning break
Components of Data
An in-depth look at the different components found in time series data including trends, seasonal patterns, business cycles, trading-day variation, interventions (events) and noise. Discussion addresses the forms the components can take, spotting local vs. global components, interpretation of business cycle indicators and the use of decomposition routines.
Lunch
Exponential Smoothing
A survey of exponential smoothing techniques with particular emphasis on the Holt-Winters family of models and Croston’s intermittent demand model. Topics include the pros and cons of using these models, when they are best used, how they work, identifying model components, parameter optimization and model diagnosis.
Forecasting Accuracy and Evaluation
A detailed look at evaluating the accuracy of forecasting methods. Topics include the distinction between within-sample and out-of-sample errors, a survey of error measurement statistics, a summary of findings from forecasting competitions and an explanation of how to use both real-time tracking reports and simulations as predictors of model performance.
Afternoon break
PC Workshop 1
This first hands-on session familiarizes attendees with the use of the Forecast Pro software package as they are guided through sample exercises applying the ideas discussed during the lectures.
Evening Cocktail Reception
A cocktail reception will be held on the first evening, providing a relaxing environment for the attendees to socialize after the first day of the seminar.
Day 2
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Box-Jenkins (ARIMA) Models
An exploration into the use of ARIMA models for business forecasting. Topics include the advantages/disadvantages of using these models, how and when they should be applied, automatic identification procedures and model diagnostics.
Morning break
Event-Index Models
Event-index models extend the functionality of exponential smoothing models by providing adjustments for promotions, strikes and other non-calendar based events. This unit addresses how these models work, how and when they should be used, and how to customize their design to best suit your needs
Large-Scale Forecasting
Approaches for focusing on critical items when forecasting large volumes of data. Topics include evaluating and forecasting SKU data, filtering and ABC (Pareto) classification, outlier detection & correction, exception reporting, and measuring accuracy across multiple time series.
Afternoon break
Multiple-Level Forecasting
This section explores hierarchical forecasting techniques. Topics include discussion of the need for forecasting at various levels, product vs. geographical hierarchies, reconciliation strategies, top-down vs. bottom-up approaches, the use of proportional allocation and adjustment for seasonality.
PC Workshop 2
In this session, attendees are guided through forecasting exercises and have time to work with their own data with the help of the course instructors.
Day 3
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
New Product Forecasting
This session explores various approaches for forecasting new products. Topics include the pros and cons of different methods based on a product’s classification, and a review of popular methods including item supersession, forecasting by analogy and the Bass diffusion model.
Morning break
Dynamic Regression
A detailed look into the ins and outs of regression forecasting. Topics include when regression models are best applied, how to build the model, ordinary least squares, leading indicators, lagged variables, Cochrane-Orcutt models, hypothesis testing and the use of “dummy” variables.
Lunch
PC Workshop 3
This final session consists of a regression example after which attendees have time to work with their own data.
*schedule subject to change*

Instructors


  • Eric.jpg

    Eric Stellwagen

    Eric Stellwagen is the co-founder of Business Forecast Systems, Inc. (BFS) and the co-author of the Forecast Pro software product line. With more than 30 years of expertise in the field, he regularly presents workshops and publishes on the topic of business forecasting, and is widely recognized as a leading educator on the subject. Drawing upon his extensive consulting experience helping organizations to address their forecasting challenges, Eric infuses his classes with practical approaches and uses real-world data to illustrate concepts. He has worked with many leading firms including Coca-Cola, Kraft, Merck, Nabisco, Owens-Corning and Verizon and has presented workshops for a variety of organizations including APICS, the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF), the Institute of Business Forecasting (IBF), the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), and the University of Tennessee. Eric served on the board of directors of the IIF for 12 years and is currently serving on the practitioner advisory board of Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting.

  • Eric.jpg

    Sarah Darin

    Sarah Darin has 20 years of experience with statistical consulting, sales forecasting, regression modeling and marketing analytics. Sarah holds a Master’s of Science in Statistics from the University of Chicago, where she also served as a Lecturer for two years. She has consulted for clients across a broad range of industries, including Consumer Packaged Goods, Telecommunications, Technology, Retail, Automotive and Finance. Before joining BFS, Sarah was Vice President of Consulting Services at Nielsen where she focused on custom analytic solutions for the CPG and Expanded Vertical practices, teaching customers how to efficiently integrate, manage, model and forecast large-scale datasets. Sarah’s ability to understand and explain statistical concepts in the context of real-world, messy data makes her an ideal instructor for this seminar. Sarah received her undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University.

Venues

Orlando

The seminar will be held at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek located next to the Walt Disney World® Resort. Reduced hotel room rates of $139/night are available if booked by March 14, 2017. A limited of rooms are available so we encourage you to book your hotel room now online or by calling Hilton reservations at 1 (888) 353-2013. (Note: when making reservations by phone, indicate that you are booking a room at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek under the group code HBFS to receive the discounted rate.) If you would like to extend your stay to take advantage of all that Orlando has to offer, a limited number of hotel rooms are available at the same rate of $139/night on the three days prior to start of the conference and the three days after the conference has ended.

London