Forecasting and Market Analysis Techniques: A Practical Approach (BOK)
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Sales forecasting and market analysis are the cornerstones of the planning process. Yet, these two tasks are usually performed by people with only limited training in either area because most firms do not have full-time forecasters/market analysts. The authors acknowledge this situation and attempt to describe the key techniques for forecasting sales and analyzing markets in a format that meets the needs of an audience with limited quantitative skills. In addition to its basic approach, another strength of this book is that it combines the coverage of two key activities--forecasting and market analysis--that are performed by the same person in most middle-sized (and smaller) firms. The book's contents and format were designed with two audiences in mind: persons assigned to develop forecasts and market analyses, but who are not specialists in either area, and persons who will be incorporating these results in their planning and decision making. The major portion of the book is devoted to the three basic categories of forecasting models--time series, causal, and judgmental--emphasizing the most widely used models in each category. Special attention is also given to the sources for obtaining the data needed to make forecasts and analyze markets. The latter part of the book describes procedures for developing market and sales potentials, methods for segmenting markets, and some analytic techniques such as conjoint analysis and cluster analysis, gaining increased usage among market analysts.