Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Forecasting + Analytics = ?

Quantitative forecasting is an age-old discipline, highly useful across different functions of an organization: from  forecasting sales and workforce demand to economic forecasting and inventory planning.

Business schools have offered courses with titles such as "Time Series Forecasting", "Forecasting Time Series Data", "Business Forecasting",  more specialized courses such as "Demand Planning and Sales Forecasting" or even graduate programs with title "Business and Economic Forecasting". Simple "Forecasting" is also popular. Such courses are offered at the undergraduate, graduate and even executive education. All these might convey the importance and usefulness of forecasting, but they are far from conveying the coolness of forecasting.

I've been struggling to find a better term for the courses that I teach on-ground and online, as well as for my recent book (with the boring name Practical Time Series Forecasting). The name needed to convey that we're talking about forecasting, particularly about quantitative data-driven forecasting, plus the coolness factor. Today I discovered it! Prof Refik Soyer from GWU's School of Business will be offering a course called "Forecasting for Analytics". A quick Google search did not find any results with this particular phrase -- so the credit goes directly to Refik. I also like "Forecasting Analytics", which links it to its close cousins "Predictive Analytics" and "Visual Analytics", all members of the Business Analytics family.


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