Forecasting is not exceedingly difficult, but it sure seems like it when you read a book about it! The word forecasting strikes fear into the hearts of many. A leading concern is “hieroglyphics” — how can I possibly decipher all those complex, confusing statistical formulas? Most forecasting books have lots of them. It can be like reading another language.
The truth about forecasting is that you don’t need to understand statistical formulas to master it. Today’s software programs do all of the calculations for you. You just need to use the software properly, not perform calculations long-hand. You can “leave the Greek to the uber-geeks.”
Take Formula One drivers. Few if any are technical experts in electronics, aerodynamics or composite materials. They focus on racing strategy and driving skills. A similar approach works extremely well with forecasting. Let the technical experts design software that calculates correctly. Your job is to use it properly.
Another example is with bank statements. When is the last time you found a math error on a bank statement? Most people have to think way back, and usually end up recalling a transaction error rather than a calculation error. The implication: you only need to check the transactions, not the math. The same goes for forecasting: you only need to make sure the right data is being used and that you have the right settings. You don’t need to check whether the software is calculating correctly.
If you need to make forecasts but have avoided it because you don’t understand the formulas, there is a solution. Click here to read about a simple, formula-free course on forecasting.