Prepare a two-year (8 quarter or 24 month) forecast of the series identified in your proposal. You must use two separate methods: an appropriate extrapolation method, (usually an exponential smoothing method), and a causal regression mode. While sales data are desired, I will consider allowing other data upon request. The reference librarians can be of help in guiding you to data, although for graduate students this is rarely needed. The data sources on page 1 of the syllabus may be useful to you. If you have a particular interest/need to use data with a weekly or daily periodicity I may allow you to do so with prior permission.
You will be encouraged to combine forecasts from the two methods you select.
You will communicate your results in a paper that should be written in a manner such that a manager will understand what you did, but still be analytically accurate. The paper must include the sections identified below and only these sections:
Title Page: Include company name, your name and an appropriate graphic.
Table of Contents (include beginning page numbers for the following sections)
Section 1. Introduction (1 page):
Why did you select this topic? How would this forecast be useful? To whom would it be useful
Section 2. Managerial Overview of Methods to be Used (2 pages)
Section 3. Application of Forecasting Methods and Results (3 to 5 pages)
Section 4. Conclusions and Limitations (1 page)
Section 5. References (typically 6 to 8 references related to the company selected (1 page)
Appendix. One or more appendices containing appropriate graphics (all graphs must be referenced in your paper along with the page on which the graph can be found) and a complete professional listing of data with appropriate citations.
The paper presenting your findings must be in a 12 point font and 1.5 or double spacing. Four points will be deducted for each spelling, typographical, or grammatical error. Ten points will be deducted for failure to follow instructions provided here-in.
Pages must be numbered sequentially including the appendices.
When you submit your paper you must also submit an Excel file with your data. On the first tab have only the dates in column A and the sales data in column B. On a second tab have the data as used for your extrapolation method with the dates in column A, the sales data in column B, and the predicted values for that method in column C. On the third tab have all the data used in the regression model with dates in column A and the sales data in column B. The next columns of Tab 3 should have all the independent variables used in your regression model. Following these columns you should have a column with the values predicted by the regression analysis. The fourth and final tab should have the dates in column A, the original sales data in column B, the predicted values from your extrapolation forecast in column C and the predicted values from your regression model in column D. The predicted values will extend 8 quarters (or 24 months) beyond the actual historic values. Name the tabs as follows:
Tab 1: Basic Data
Tab 2: Extrapolation Model
Tab 3: Regression Model
Tab 4: Final Forecasts
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