Forecasting software development

Forecasting Support Systems (FSSs) refer to the integration of the available knowledge gained through theory and practice in a specialised information system. The objective of such software is to support managers and practitioners in everyday tasks related to forecasting and planning.

While including state of the art statistical extrapolation methods and a wide variety of tools for statistical analysis, FSSs usually allows the users to integrate their judgment or any kind of external information by adjusting the statistical forecasts. Visualisations and reporting features complement these systems, as to maximize the user experience and to allow direct dissemination of the results. Finally, monitoring aspects enable the timely detection of repeated biases, which may lead to over or under stocks.

‌The Lancaster Centre for Forecasting is actively engaging in the development of fully featured FSSs. Towards this direction, great effort has been devoted to the optimal design of FSSs, as to allow for maximum effectiveness (see for example Fildes et al., 2006). Moreover, the Centre develops customised forecasting modules and scripts that can be used on top of existing ERPs or MISs. These modules are usually implemented taking advantage of widely used spreadsheet software (for example, MS Excel with VBA) or open-source solutions (such as R Statistical package), as to minimise any extra costs related to the purchase of additional software.

Additionally, the 20+ years of experience into the field of forecasting gives the Centre a deep understanding of the existing commercial FSSs solutions and their advantage/shortcomings. Thus, the Centre can assist companies towards the selection of the appropriate licensed solution after performing thorough software evaluation and alignment to the company's needs.

Success Story
Choosing a Right Forecasting software  @ McBride
Success Story
Purchasing new forecasting software?  @ Beiersdorf