Measuring Forecast Error and Variability

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3.50 hours
Online Self Study

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About the Course

This Online Self-Study course covers the topics of variability and error in forecasting. In every area of the supply chain management, we face variability and uncertainty. Variability in any part of the supply chain drives up cost and erodes our ability to serve customers. To control and manage variability, it must first be able to be measured. This course examines the concept of variability and describes graphical and statistical approaches to measuring it.

Course Description


Learning Objectives

Students learn how to calculate and compare forecasting metrics. More importantly, this course discusses how such metrics are used to drive forecast improvement and create inventory models.


The following topics are covered in this course:

  • Histograms
  • Measures of mean, median, and mode.
  • Measurements of spread including the standard deviation.
  • Measurements of relative variability such as the coefficient of variation – CV.
  • Measures of bias such as average error.
  • Measures of precision and dispersion including the standard deviation, mean square error, mean absolute deviation, and mean absolution percent error.
  • Measures that dynamically evaluate forecast performance such as tracking signals.