Forecasting is a mixture of science and art. It’s a blend of analytical methods, facts, gut feel, experience, and instinct. The clever bit is to know when you should follow the analysis and when to stick with your gut feel. There are ways to help you find your way through, but in the end it will come down to experience and a knowledge of the operation for which you’re forecasting.
In this section we will provide an introduction to forecasting without covering it definitively. For more insight on forecasting you’ll need to look elsewhere, possibly taking in some study in Operational Research along the way.