Academic journal article The Journal of Business Forecasting Methods & Systems

Benchmarking the Background of Business Forecasters

Academic journal article The Journal of Business Forecasting Methods & Systems

Benchmarking the Background of Business Forecasters

Article excerpt

Whenever a company looks for a person to hire it specifies qualifications and responsibilities. Hiring a person for the position of forecasting is no exception. Since forecasting is a young function, it is not easy for a company just starting up to know what to look for in a forecaster. Here we describe the credentials of forecasters working in the area.

OVERALL BACKGROUND OF FORECASTERS

To determine the background of practicing forecasters, survey participants were asked to check any one of 7 attributes that best reflected their background: (1) Product/Market Knowledge, (2) Production/Distribution/Logistics, (3) Statistics/Math., (4) Accounting/Finance, (5) Sales, (6) Marketing Research, and (7) Information System/Technology. If none of these reflected their background, they could check "Others." From the survey results, we learn:

1. People working in the forecasting function have no concentration in any particular area. Their backgrounds, both academic and professional, vary. The largest percentage of forecasters has a background in Product/Market Knowledge (18.89%), followed by Pro-duction/ Distribution/Logistics (17.43%), and Statistics/Math (15.80%). (See Figure 1) 2. Not many forecasters have a strong background in Statistics/Math, which can be extremely useful in forecasting.

3. It appears that most forecasting positions are filled from within. …

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