What is the Future of Forecasting?

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Executive Summary

  • This article covers what I think is the future of forecasting.


I was recently asked what I saw as the future state of forecasting.

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My Projection

My view is that I don’t see any of the topical items (AI/ML, Big Data, demand sensing, new forecasting applications that keep popping up, and other major discussion points) having very much of an impact on forecasting practice. I see forecasting departments hopping from one trend to the other without making much progress towards better forecasting accuracy. I also see many gaps in leveraging the things that are available to us but don’t seem to receive much hype.

For example, Google Sheets now allows the collaboration on forecasting in a low-cost way. But I don’t see people talking about using such basic tools that could provide a clear benefit. Practical voices, like Michael Gilliland’s (for example), tend to get sidelined for something immediate and “magic bullet-ish.” This constant crash dieting (the watermelon diet, the paleo diet, the XYZ diet) is the preferred behavioral modality versus mastering the basics.


If I observed something that would make a big change, I would be happy to point to it. But I see more of a continuation of current stunted practices.