In our latest data round-up, we look at how to conduct objective forecasting in Excel, fascinating visualisations of the world’s energy sources, AI Trends in 2019, A/B Testing Fundamentals and more. Here’s the latest month in data…


Creating an Objective Forecast in Excel – Microsoft Blog

When it comes to setting and analysing budgets and business plans, ‘objective forecasting’ refers to a mechanical, easily repeatable process. Making forecasts in this way can be useful for cross-departmental discussions, because each department can follow the same set process to see similar results.

Forecasting in Excel

It’s also useful for comparing results with previous forecasts and adjusting your projections during the year and in the future.

This article on the Microsoft blog shows how the Excel TREND and FORECAST functions in particular can be invaluable for business planning.


State of AI in 2019

An analysis of the AI market in 2019 by industry experts Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth. They believe that:

AI will be a force multiplier on technological progress in our increasingly digital, data-driven world.

This in-depth SlideShare presentation on AI in 2019 covers the key areas of:

  • Industry – major AI platforms and applications for artificial intelligence now and in the future
  • Research – breakthroughs in technology, and their capability
  • Politics – Economics, geopolitics and public opinion
  • China – with its own online ecosystem, China is analysed in an AI category of its own
  • Talent – a look at supply and demand for, and the location of existing, AI professionals.


Root Cause Analysis Using Statistics

This article is from September last year, but we only recently stumbled across it. The post at Corporate Learning Network explains how, in diagnosing the root cause of a problem, management / key decision makers and Six Sigma practitioners should have a strong understanding of:

  • Detection of significant variation across performance metrics
  • Homogeneity
  • Dis-aggregation of non-homogeneous data to create meaningful sub-groups.

The article breaks down these principles with simple examples to help managers and leaders make better business decisions.


MegaWatt? Data Visualisations of Global Energy Sources

More extremely informative and interesting data visualisations from Information is Beautiful – this time looking at the world’s energy sources and consumption per person across a number of countries.

Global Energy Sources

The world’s largest individual power plants and their energy production are organised by Solar, Biomass, Geothermal, Wind, Coal, Oil, Gas, Nuclear and Hydro.

Additionally, the page on How the World’s Energy and Electricity is Generated has a further graphic on the untapped potential of Solar and Wind power, and an interactive calculator to help you understand how MegaWatts (MW) translate to number of people served, depending on where you live.


A/B Testing – a Data Science Fundamental

Also known as hypothesis testing, this article from Towards Data Science looks at the world of A/B testing, including some simple examples.

The author, Tony Yiu, explains how A/B testing is an essential part of the data scientist toolkit.


Related pages:

Learn about EQUS – our useful Excel plugin for formula visualization, helping spreadsheet users to identify potential errors.

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