This unit aims to provide an introduction to the practice of forecasting in business. Forecasting requires both practical experience in model building and some statistical theory. To blend the theory and practice, many business forecasting examples are discussed. Excel is used to do useful preliminary calculations and plotting. At the end of this unit, students should be able to understand the major techniques of forecasting and be able to intelligently forecast actual business time series using Excel and its extensions. Topics covered include: the aims of forecasting and relation to time series analysis; types of time series; plotting and charting time series; practical examples of forecasting and forecasting issues; growth curve methods; least squares (what you need to know for forecasting); decomposition of time series; elementary exponential smoothing with Excel; serial correlation (and Durbin Watson statistic); applied ARIMA modelling and identifying seasonality and "hidden" periodicities.
1x1500wd equivalent Take-home assignment (30%), 1x1hr Mid-semester test (20%), 1x2hr Final exam (50%),