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Forecasting: theory and practice

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Forecasting has always been at the forefront of decision making and planning. The uncertainty that surrounds the future is both exciting and challenging, with individuals and organisations seeking to minimise risks and maximise utilities. The large number of forecasting applications calls for a diverse set of forecasting methods to tackle real-life challenges. This article provides a non-systematic review of the theory and the practice of forecasting. We provide an overview of a wide range of theoretical, state-of-the-art models, methods, principles, and approaches to prepare, produce, organise, and evaluate forecasts. We then demonstrate how such theoretical concepts are applied in a variety of real-life contexts. We do not claim that this review is an exhaustive list of methods and applications. However, we wish that our encyclopedic presentation will offer a point of reference for the rich work that has been undertaken over the last decades, with some key insights for the future of forecasting theory and practice. Given its encyclopedic nature, the intended mode of reading is non-linear. We offer cross-references to allow the readers to navigate through the various topics. We complement the theoretical concepts and applications covered by large lists of free or open-source software implementations and publicly-available databases.


Study: 73% of Retailers Believe Artificial Intelligence Can Add Significant Value to Demand Forecasting

#artificialintelligence

LLamasoft published the results of a global retail supply chain study, which revealed that 73% of retailers believe artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can add significant value to their demand forecasting processes. Meanwhile, over half say it will improve 8 other critical supply chain capabilities. The research also found that while 56% of overperforming retailers, also known as'retail winners', use technology to model contingency plans for severe supply chain interruptions, a mere 31% of retailers who are not overperforming do the same. Overall, 56% of retailers surveyed are struggling with the ability to respond to rapid shifts, and the lack of flexibility has cost them during the disruptions such as COVID-19, with many seeing a huge drop in revenue as a result. In addition, 73% of'retail winners' have the foresight and ability to monitor capacity, which allows them to prepare for sudden shifts in demand and supply, compared to 35% of'other' or'under-performing' retailers.