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Forecasting and Demography

The success of any business or development plan relies almost solely on its suitability to the condition or occurrence of some future event for which it has been designed.  Therefore accurately forecasting this future condition, and the level of surety that can be attributed to the forecast, is integral to the planning process.  Data Analysis Australia has a range of statistical techniques at its disposal, and tailors the use of existing data and information to develop the most suitable approach for each individual forecasting project.  This often involves the production of several scenarios to provide clients with a full range of strategic information and advice, essential in making an informed decision and in optimising policies and procedures.

Forecasts are usually based on an understanding of trends and patterns in historical data. Statistical models are central to this.  A feature of Data Analysis Australia's approach is the use of structural information wherever possible.  Rather than using 'black boxes', models are developed where the details reflect reality and actual processes.  Within that approach, Data Analysis Australia has a range of methods available and for each client chooses the ones most appropriate for their situation.

Forecasting is a statistical process in two respects:

  • Forecasts are often based on understanding the trends and patterns in historical data.  Statistical and time series models are central to this and the steps of reviewing the data and significance testing that are used in any statistical analysis are part of the process of building these models.
  • Once the models are applied, the uncertainty in the forecasts and hence the confidence that can be placed in them is also a statistical issue.

Data Analysis Australia also incorporates subjective factors into forecasting models. Structured consultation with expert panels and stakeholders is used to develop critical probability points in the models.  An advantage of this approach is that it gives measures of how uncertain the future may be.

Industry Case Studies

Courts - Forecasts of Superior Court Demand
Westralia Airports Corporation - Christmas Island Passenger Numbers