What is the Future of Forecasting?

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.

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 as hopping from one trend to the other without making much progress towards better forecasting accuracy. I also see a lot of 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.” So 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.