Excel Sales Forecasting For Dummies
Excel Sales Forecasting For Dummies shows you how to use the number one workbook program, Microsoft Excel, to predict trends and future sales based on something not quite so ethereal—numbers. You use data about the past to forecast the future. Excel provides all sorts of tools to help you do that, and this book shows you how to use them.
From recognizing why forecasting is a good idea to making sense of exponential smoothing, Excel Sales Forecasting For Dummies has you covered. If you have a basic grasp of how to use Excel, you’ll be ready to discover how to
- Select and use the right forecasting method for your business
- Choose and arrange data in lists, then manage that data with pivot tables
- Filter lists and turn them into charts that illustrate what’s going on
- Find relationships in your data
- Use Excel’s Analysis Toolpak feature to create forecasts automatically, or venture into advanced forecasts using worksheet functions
- Gain more control over your forecasting and target specific types of predictions
- Use moving averages and predict seasonal sales
Written by Conrad Carlberg, a nationally recognized expert on Excel who also has experience in sales and marketing, this friendly guide gets you up and running quickly and easily. You’ll soon be setting up a baseline you can chart and label, summarizing data with pivot tables, making forecasts based on regression, understanding correlation, and discovering how smoothing lets us profit from our mistakes. You’ll find your confidence in your ability to make sales predictions has soared right off the chart.
Part I: Understanding Sales Forecasting and How Excel Can Help.
Chapter 1: A Forecasting Overview.
Chapter 2: Forecasting: The Basic Issues.
Chapter 3: Understanding Baselines.
Chapter 4: Predicting the Future: Why Forecasting Works.
Part II: Organizing the Data.
Chapter 5: Choosing Your Data: How to Get a Good Baseline.
Chapter 6: Setting Up Lists in Excel.
Chapter 7: Working with Lists in Excel.
Part III: Making a Basic Forecast.
Chapter 8: Summarizing Sales Data with Pivot Tables.
Chapter 9: Charting Your Baseline: It’s a Good Idea.
Chapter 10: Forecasting with Excel’s Analysis ToolPak.
Chapter 11: Basing Forecasts on Regression.
Part IV: Making Advanced Forecasts.
Chapter 12: Entering the Formulas Yourself.
Chapter 13: Using Moving Averages.
Chapter 14: Evaluating a Moving Average.
Chapter 15: Smoothing: How You Profit from Your Mistakes.
Chapter 16: Fine-Tuning a Regression Forecast.
Chapter 17: Managing Trends.
Chapter 18: Same Time Last Year: Forecasting Seasonal Sales.
Part V: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 19: Ten Pivot Table Troubles — and How to Overcome Them.
Chapter 20: The Ten Best Excel Tools.
Carlberg’s Ph.D. in statistics involves work in forecasting, as does his work in telecommunications and the health-care industry. He used the techniques in this book to reduce a crushing $24 million inventory owned by a Baby Bell to under $10 million in 18 months. The carrying costs for $24 million in equipment are significant. The point: This forecasting stuff works.
As preparation for starting his consultancy, Carlberg spent two years as a sales engineer for a Fortune 500 company.