Sales Forecasts – Part 4. Generating Point Forecasts with Trends and Seasonality

This fourth post about sales forecasts addresses what you actually start with — that is, visualizing the time series of historical sales and generating point estimates for the future. Theyou analyze the residuals to determine the probability forecasts.

What prompted me to review this field is the realization based on news of the M5 forecasting competition that this field has been the object of intense developments in recent years. Some techniques from earlier decades are now accessible through open-source software that can crunch tens of thousands of data points on an ordinary office laptop.

Others are new developments. Thanks to Stefan de Kok, John Darlington, Nicolas Vandeput, and Bill Waddell for comments and questions on the previous posts, that made me dig deeper:

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