Predict your milestones with forecasting in Power BI Desktop

by balsamoma Occasional Visitor on ‎10-24-2016 10:17 AM

In the September 2016 update of the Power BI Desktop, the Power BI team took the first step toward providing Power BI users with the possibility to add forecasting to charts. Forecasting, a fundamental component of data mining, is one of the first steps towards providing artificial intelligence to users of Power BI. Imagine adding forecasting to your reports to help you see when you will reach your business goals. On our team in BI@Microsoft, we are using this feature to predict when we will reach our Monthly Active User (MAU) goal for Power BI usage.

 

You can get an excellent sense of how you can use forecasting in this 6-minute video.

 

When I tell people about this great new feature, they often ask, "What forecasting algorithm is Power BI using?" Power BI documentation will soon include this information, but in the meantime, here's the answer. The Power BI Desktop uses an assembly forecaster. Basically, Power BI picks the algorithm it thinks best fits the data. As of this update, the assembly forecaster includes exponential smoothing

 

The Power BI team plans to continue to improve their forecasting algorithms in future releases of the Desktop. Ultimately, the team also plans to add forecasting to the entire Power BI suite of tools. Soon you will be able to have forecasting in the reports and dashboards you give your users in the Power BI service. For now, get started by adding the feature to your existing reports in the Desktop so that when forecasting is available in the Power BI service, you will have your reports all ready to publish and distribute to your users.

 

Note that forecasting is supported only in the Power BI Desktop, and not yet in the Power BI service. Also, for now you can only add forecasting to a single value line chart.​

 

So, make sure you've downloaded the Power BI September update, read the blog announcement, and try out the new forecasting feature!

Comments
by yoshihirok Member
‎10-28-2016 12:13 AM - edited ‎10-28-2016 12:14 AM

Great Thank you for improve the forecasting algorithms.

and, I hope the forecasting from multiple values,

and, I hope to make alert by forecasting value, Example: the alert over specific value within three months predict. 

 

Regards,

Yoshihiro Kawabata

by sshore Frequent Visitor
on ‎10-28-2016 03:18 PM

Awesome! The company I work for is looking for a forecasting solution. We have been selling our products for less than a year. I am having trouble using the forecasting function. In the future will you be able to forecase on a Monthly timeline versus Yearly?

 

Thank you! I love the Power BI Service so far and am pitching the Pro version to my company!

 

by balsamoma Occasional Visitor
on ‎11-04-2016 10:22 AM

Hi sshore,  If the data you have in your model is yearly, the forecast will be yearly.  If the data you have in your model is monthly, your forecast will be monthly.   It depends on your data model.  It also depends on the setting you choose for the forecast line. 

 

So, for example, I did a little test for you.  I had a model with 5 years of data in it.  By default, I got a forecast line with 3 more years of data.  I went into the forecast format control and selected 100 points, so then the forecast showed me 100 YEARS forecast.

 

I believe it does what you wish.  Try it out.   Also, be aware that the forecasting is based on the data in the model.  In the test case I mentioned above, although it's possible, it doesn't make sense to predict 100 years into the future based on what's happened in the past 3 year.

 

I hope this helps!

by balsamoma Occasional Visitor
on ‎11-04-2016 10:27 AM

Hi Yoshihiro,

 

Setting an alert on a forecast value is an interesting idea.   If you think this is a valuable feature to build, please go to hthttp://ideas.powerbi.com and suggest it.   That is the tool the Power BI team uses as part of it's product planning.  They look there for feature requests and they use the votes to help understand how many people want this feature.

 

Please go to http://ideas.powerbi.com and suggest it there!

 

 

by mscmoose34 Occasional Visitor
on ‎03-09-2017 08:29 AM

When I run the forecast my lower bound is negative, being a sales organization my sales are not going to go negative, any suggestions on how to fix this?

 

Thanks,

 

Mike