Forecast Solutions

Forecasting in Excel Training Course (1.5 days / 11 hrs)

Overview

The Forecasting in Excel course is ideal for any person wishing to explore the use of Excel for forecasting future demand for products or services.  It pulls together a range of tools that can be found or constructed in standard Excel, plus some useful aspects of the Data Analysis and Solver add-ins, to form a sound basis for Excel forecasting.  The FORECAST function in Excel is explained, including the advantages and disadvantages of FORECAST.ETS.  

Course level:

Basic or Intermediate

Price:

Please request a fixed price quotation by email or through the form here, giving the number of delegates.  Courses are currently delivered online only , usually through the Zoom platform, and are hosted throughout by the expert trainer / consultant.

Course Dates:

Courses are arranged for individual companies in order that they can be tailored to give the most relevant content and best experience for the delegates.  Dates are simply agreed by Forecast Solutions and the participating company.  Bookings are a provisional only until payment for the course has been received. 

Who should attend:

The course is suitable for a wide range of individuals, from senior managers who need to gain a detailed understanding of what can and cannot be done with Excel through to those who will be directly responsible for forecasting in Excel.  Typically those attending will be from demand planning, marketing, forecasting or purchasing roles. A prior knowledge of Excel to an intermediate level is desirable.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Improved appreciation of methods and processes for demand planning and forecasting.

  • Understanding of the capabilities and limitations of Excel as a platform for a demand forecasting system.

  • Detailed knowledge of a number of the most useful forecasting techniques and how to implement them in Excel.

Typical Course Content:

  1. The principle of seasonal decomposition and how to carry out a simple seasonal analysis in Excel to create seasonal indices.  Checking the validity of a seasonal pattern.

  2. Explanation of causal modelling and what can and cannot be done in Excel.  Example of how to implement the results of a causal analysis that may have been carried out externally to Excel. 

  3. Fitting straight lines and curves to historical data using Excel and how to project those patterns into the future.  Choosing a suitable curve.  The graphical method in Excel plus the functions Trend, Growth and Forecast.

  4. The moving average method of time series forecasting including how to set it up in Excel and apply seasonal indices if relevant.

  5. Explanation of the exponential smoothing family of forecasting methods.  Examples of setting up simple exponential smoothing and a practical method of including growth or decline in the forecast.

  6. The Forecast Sheet utility in Excel and examples using the FORECAST.ETS function.

  7. Selecting a suitable forecasting model, including an illustration of the use of the Solver add-in in Excel to optimise parameters.

  8. Forecast accuracy measures and how to set up some of the common methods in Excel.

  9. Discussion of the use of Excel as a tool for ad hoc forecasting analysis versus the challenges involved in setting up an ongoing forecasting system in Excel.

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Alternative forecasting courses

An even more popular course is the Demand Planning and Forecasting Workshop (2 days).  This gives a broad coverage of various forecasting methods, model selection and calibration and the basics of inventory planning including safety stock calculation. Or visit the main Training Page for a summary of all of our demand planning and forecasting training options.