Prophecy’s   statistical   forecasting   capabilities   are   getting   a   major   power-up!      The   January   release   of   Prophecy uses   Microsoft’s   free   R   Open   solution   to   deliver   state   of   the   art   statistical   forecasting,   with   no   specialist   or   expert knowledge required. R   Open   is   a   widely   used   open   source   platform   for   statistical   analysis   and   data science.      Eminent   academics   and   data   scientists   have   contributed   powerful, leading-edge   time   series   forecasting   algorithms   to   the   project,   and   they   are   now available to use through Prophecy, at zero cost. With   Prophecy,   you   don’t   need   to   see   a   single   line   of   R   code   to   benefit   from   R’s leading-edge   automatic   statistical   forecasting.      Equally,   you   can   use   all   the   power of   R   to   analyse   and   forecast   Prophecy   data   using   Prophecy’s   ‘R   Expert’   mode, and then quickly bring the R forecasts back into Prophecy. Prophecy’s   flexible   R   implementation   has   been   designed   to   work   for   statisticians and non-statisticians alike, using ‘Automatic’ or ‘Expert’ mode:
January 2019 Prophecy News R Prophecy - powered by
Using Prophecy ‘Automatic’ mode ‘Automatic’    mode    is    designed    to    generate    the    best    possible forecasts   and   to   be   as   easy   as   possible   for   non-statistical   users to   use.      The   statistical   algorithms   automate   parameter   selection and   generate   sensible   forecasts   without   user-intervention.      The Prophecy   user   simply   selects   one   or   more   of   the   supplied   ‘R template’   files,   specifies   which   products   and   customers   to   apply them to and clicks ‘Run’. Prophecy    then    runs    R    transparently    in    the    background    to generate   the   forecasts,   using   the   specified   ‘R   templates’.      The user   can   preview   the   resulting   forecasts   in   a   multi-dimensional grid   view   (similar   to   a   Prophecy   report)   or   view   graphs   showing the    R    forecast    versus    history    and    any    existing    forecasts    in Prophecy already. In    addition,    the    user    can    choose    NOT    to    bring    selected product/customer forecasts or time periods back into Prophecy. The   final   stage   in   the   ‘Automatic’   process   is   to   apply   the   R forecasts   back   to   the   Prophecy   database.      Alternatively,   the forecasts   that   R   has   generated   can   be   saved   for   later,   and brought   into   Prophecy   (if   required)   through   the   ‘Expert’   mode import process. In    summary,    ‘Automatic’    mode    is    designed    to    require    zero knowledge   of   R   or   statistics   and   to   quickly   get   you   as   good   a   set of   statistical   forecasts   as   today’s   state   of   the   art   time   series forecasting allows.
Using Prophecy ‘R Expert’ mode ‘R   Expert’   mode   lets   Prophecy   users   access   the   totality   of   R   as   a statistical   and   data   science   system.     This   option   is   ideal   for   users who   wish   to   apply   their   existing   statistical   forecasting   skills   and knowledge of the R programming language. 99%    of    users    will    use    Prophecy’s    ‘Automatic’    mode    and    get great   results,   because   the   built-in   automatic   forecasting   routines in    R    are    comparable    with    the    best    commercial    statistical forecasting   engines.      But   ‘R   Expert’   mode   is   there   too,   should   it be needed! Use   ‘Expert’   mode   to   export   Prophecy   sales   history   into   R   for analysis,   transformation,   graphing   and   forecasting.      Once   you’ve generated   forecasts,   use   Prophecy’s   ‘R   Import’   button   to   read them back into Prophecy. “Sounds great - how do I start?” Y ou   will   need   to   download   and   install   two   additional   pieces   of software.  They are both free for commercial usage: Microsoft R Open - https://mran.microsoft.com R Studio - https://www.rstudio.com/products/RStudio/ R   Open   is   the   ‘engine’.      RStudio   is   an   R   code   editor.      Even   if   you never use ‘Expert’ mode you need both items installed. Then   navigate   to   the   new   ‘R   Open’   tab   on   the   main   Prophecy toolbar. You’ll    find    lots    of    help    in    the    help    file    -    just    press    F1    after selecting any of the R options.
Please see https://www.dataperceptions.co.uk/sales-forecasting-with-r.html  for more information and video demos of R forecasting.
'Automatic' mode 'Expert' mode No statistical knowledge required X No knowledge of R required X Use top academic / data scientists' automatic forecasting algorithms X Manually adjust parameters in forecasting algorithms (via R code) Re-usable R forecast templates X X Edit R forecast templates X X Automatic round-trip Prophecy to R and back X Preview and compare R forecasts to current Prophecy  X Use the whole analytical and graphical framework against Prophecy data X Selectively import R forecasts into Prophecy  X X Override selected R forecasts by period X (via R code)
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