A planning tool that helps management in its attempts to cope with the uncertainty of the future, relying mainly on data from the past and present and analysis of trends.

Forecasting starts with certain assumptions based on the management's experience, knowledge, and judgment. These estimates are projected into the coming months or years using one or more techniques such as Box-Jenkins models, Delphi method, exponential smoothing, moving averages, regression analysis, and trend projection. Since any error in the assumptions will result in a similar or magnified error in forecasting, the technique of sensitivity analysis is used which assigns a range of values to the uncertain factors (variables).

A forecast should not be confused with a budget. See also backcasting.

Use forecasting in a sentence

  • I was really good at forecasting, so the show runner decided to put me on as the lead weatherman and that made me excited.

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  • You need to try to do your best at forecasting how a project will go so that you can be prepared for any obstacles.

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  • If you want to know how a project may play out you should get a team together to do some forecasting and figure it out.

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Notable Quotes

  • Predictions Using Historical Values
    "It has become extremely dangerous to use the past to forecast the future. Although people have gotten in trouble by thinking 'this time it's different', it really does seem that things are different now. There are now many more 'black swans': events that seemed highly improbable are now a frequent occurrence, and companies have taken on bigger risks than they thought they were."
    - Tom Murcko

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