Friday, July 1, 2022
To improve forecasting, you can use Excel charts to track how quickly new products, stores, sales people, and so on ramp up their performance compared with similar launches in the past.

Use Common-Age Excel Charts to Compare and Forecast Performance for the Same Number of...

In the early lives of new products or new stores, managers often are anxious to track and improve sales performance. To do so, it's...
Now that you've calculated your cross correlations—that is, your time-shifted correlations—here's how to chart them professionally.

Find Leading Indicators Using Automated Cross Correlations in Excel, Part 2

In Part 1 of this discussion about automated cross correlations, I explained how to set up  the cross-correlation Data Table shown below, in columns...

Find Leading Indicators Using Automated Cross Correlations in Excel, Part 1

It all seems so simple... To improve your forecasts of sales or other measures, you simply need to find leading indicators...measures that are highly correlated...
Here's how to apply an Excel report, forecast, or analysis for one product, division, or other categoy to any number of categories. Part 2 of 3.

How to Reproduce Your Excel Work Across Many Categories, Part 2 of 3

As I explained in Part 1 of this series, Excel users often need to apply many instances of data to one model or forecast, list...
Here's how we Excel users can replicate one report or analysis across many similar categories of data, like regions, products, departments, and so on.

How to Reproduce Your Excel Work Across Many Categories, Part 1 of 3

A member of an Excel forum recently asked how to solve a problem that many Excel users face in various forms. In his particular case,...
The extreme variability caused by seasonal sales makes it difficult to track and forecast your underlying sales trends. Here's how to solve that problem.

How to Create a Rolling Forecast of Seasonal Sales in Excel

The Excel chart below shows the typical saw-tooth pattern of seasonal sales. Seasonal sales have about the same pattern every year, every week, or both. In...
Excel is a great tool for creating business plans. But one massive Excel business plan offers some great ideas about what NOT to do.

How to Audit and Improve Excel Business Plans

A client, who's a business-finance consultant, recently was hired to improve the financial forecast for a major startup company. He recently sent me the...
How to calculate and highlight the standard error of the estimate on each side of the trend in an Excel chart to make exceptional results stand out.

Highlight Normal Results in Line Charts to Make Exceptional Results Stand Out

Line charts that show trends in performance are the most useful type of chart that management reports can contain. All managers want good performance to...
The Monte Carlo method allows you to forecast performance using probability distributions for your assumptions. And Data Tables provide a quick and easy way to implement the Monte Carlo method. Here's how to do it.

How to Create Monte Carlo Models and Forecasts Using Excel Data Tables

(Download the workbook.) (This is the second of two articles about normal distributions. The first article is, How to Return Random Numbers from a Normal...
You can use probability distributions to manage the uncertainty about your assumptions when you create simulations in Excel. Here's how.

How to Return Random Numbers from a Normal Distribution for Your Excel Forecasts

(This is the first of two articles about normal distributions. The second article is, How to Create Monte Carlo Models and Forecasts Using Excel Data...

Latest Articles

How to Smooth Data by Using the TREND Function

Years ago, I read that Prof. William S. Cleveland had suggested that data could be smoothed by calculating a centered trendline through adjacent data—a...
Two economists have introduced a new leading indicator, which predicts a recession soon. These Excel charts illustrate their insight. If they're correct, Excel users will be very busy in the months ahead.

Consumer Sentiment Suggests a 2022 Recession

In recent months, business websites have speculated about recessions and stagflation in 2022. These predictions could affect your Excel work significantly in the next few...
Your data can contain many important, hidden patterns. But simple transformations in Excel can help to reveal them—as this example illustrates.

Simple Transformations Can Reveal Hidden Patterns in Your Data

Excel users have at least two significant advantages over business professionals who rely on other analytical and reporting tools. First advantage: We Excel users can...
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