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Demand Forecasting: Evidence-based Methods

  • J. Scott Armstrong
  • Kesten C. Green

We looked at evidence from comparative empirical studies to identify methods that can be useful for predicting demand in various situations and to warn against methods that should not be used. In general, use structured methods and avoid intuition, unstructured meetings, focus groups, and data mining. In situations where there are sufficient data, use quantitative methods including extrapolation, quantitative analogies, rule-based forecasting, and causal methods. Otherwise, use methods that structure judgement including surveys of intentions and expectations, judgmental bootstrapping, structured analogies, and simulated interaction. Managers' domain knowledge should be incorporated into statistical forecasts. Methods for combining forecasts, including Delphi and prediction markets, improve accuracy. We provide guidelines for the effective use of forecasts, including such procedures as scenarios. Few organizations use many of the methods described in this paper. Thus, there are opportunities to improve efficiency by adopting these forecasting practices.

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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics in its series Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers with number 24/05.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:msh:ebswps:2005-24
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  1. Armstrong, J. Scott & Collopy, Fred, 1992. "Error measures for generalizing about forecasting methods: Empirical comparisons," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 69-80, June.
  2. Armstrong, J Scott & Collopy, Fred, 2001. "Identification of Asymmetric Prediction Intervals through Causal Forces," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 273-83, July.
  3. Robert C. Blattberg & Stephen J. Hoch, 1990. "Database Models and Managerial Intuition: 50% Model + 50% Manager," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(8), pages 887-899, August.
  4. F. Thomas Juster, 1966. "Consumer Buying Intentions and Purchase Probability: An Experiment in Survey Design," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number just66-2, July.
  5. repec:reg:rpubli:259 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," NBER Working Papers 10504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dangerfield, Byron J. & Morris, John S., 1992. "Top-down or bottom-up: Aggregate versus disaggregate extrapolations," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 233-241, October.
  8. Armstrong, J. Scott & Morwitz, Vicki G. & Kumar, V., 2000. "Sales forecasts for existing consumer products and services: Do purchase intentions contribute to accuracy?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 383-397.
  9. Paul W. Rhode & Koleman S. Strumpf, 2004. "Historical Presidential Betting Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 127-141, Spring.
  10. J.S. Armstrong, 2005. "Structured Analogies for Forecasting," General Economics and Teaching 0502001, EconWPA.
  11. Tyebjee, Tyzoon T., 1987. "Behavioral biases in new product forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 3(3-4), pages 393-404.
  12. Kesten C. Green & J. Scott Armstrong, 2004. "Value of Expertise For Forecasting Decisions in Conflicts," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 27/04, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  13. Makridakis, Spyros & Hibon, Michele & Lusk, Ed & Belhadjali, Moncef, 1987. "Confidence intervals: An empirical investigation of the series in the M-competition," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 3(3-4), pages 489-508.
  14. Green, Kesten C., 2005. "Game theory, simulated interaction, and unaided judgement for forecasting decisions in conflicts: Further evidence," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 463-472.
  15. Green, Kesten C., 2002. "Forecasting decisions in conflict situations: a comparison of game theory, role-playing, and unaided judgement," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 321-344.
  16. JS Armstrong & Fred Collopy, 2004. "Integration of Statistical Methods and Judgment for Time Series," General Economics and Teaching 0412024, EconWPA.
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