DECISION 614 - Statistical Forecasting

Course Description

This course will cover a variety of methods of data analysis and forecasting that are applicable in many functional areas of business, including simple and multiple regression, exponential smoothing, seasonal decomposition, and ARIMA models. It has been extensively redesigned over the last two years and is very Excel-based with interactive exercises in class. We will be using a powerful Excel add-in for regression analysis that has been developed here at Fuqua by myself and the other statistics faculty, and we will also use industry-standard statistical analysis software (SPSS and Statgraphics) for some of the more advanced methods. The course objective is for you to gain competence in using statistical forecasting methods as well as general techniques of data analysis and computer modeling. By the end of the course you should know how to collect data from diverse sources, massage it into a form which can be analyzed on the computer, perform various kinds of exploratory data analysis, and ultimately generate forecasts from it by selecting and fitting an appropriate statistical model. We will also discuss some of the managerial issues surrounding the use of forecasting models in business and the challenges posed by recent dramatic developments in the U.S. and global economies. Concepts and tools of regression and time series analysis covered in this course should prove helpful in courses and professional work in finance, marketing, economics, operations, and consulting.


A general familiarity with basic statistical concepts and an interest in using the computer for numerical detective work.