Forecasting is predicting the future using some proven methods. There is no single right forecasting method to use. Selection of a method should be based on your objectives and your conditions. To understand how Forecasting functionality works in Oracle, we need to be aware of few terms as below:
In Oracle, Forecasts are defined within a three-level hierarchical structure. It goes from the most specific to most general - forecast entries, forecasts and forecast sets.
Forecast entry is for a specific item number, quantity and date
Forecast may be defined for a specific customer, customer site, customer type etc. You can have user defined classification using demand class. In summary, related forecast entries are grouped into Forecast
If we group Forecasts that are some way related, its called Forecast set.
Oracle provides 3 different methods to load the Forecast data.
1. Forecast entry form
2. Open Forecast interface
3. System generated forecast based on historical data
Forecast entry form and Open Forecast interface are used when forecast data is created externally (not in Oracle). Sufficient history needs to be available in Oracle to use 3rd option of system generating the forecast.