Doing Time Series using a R GUI

The Xerox Star Workstation introduced the firs...
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Until recently I had been thinking that RKWard was the only R GUI supporting Time Series Models-

however Bob Muenchen of http://www.r4stats.com/ was helpful to point out that the Epack Plugin provides time series functionality to R Commander.

Note the GUI helps explore various time series functionality.

Using Bulkfit you can fit various ARMA models to dataset and choose based on minimum AIC

 

> bulkfit(AirPassengers$x)
$res
ar d ma      AIC
[1,]  0 0  0 1790.368
[2,]  0 0  1 1618.863
[3,]  0 0  2 1522.122
[4,]  0 1  0 1413.909
[5,]  0 1  1 1397.258
[6,]  0 1  2 1397.093
[7,]  0 2  0 1450.596
[8,]  0 2  1 1411.368
[9,]  0 2  2 1394.373
[10,]  1 0  0 1428.179
[11,]  1 0  1 1409.748
[12,]  1 0  2 1411.050
[13,]  1 1  0 1401.853
[14,]  1 1  1 1394.683
[15,]  1 1  2 1385.497
[16,]  1 2  0 1447.028
[17,]  1 2  1 1398.929
[18,]  1 2  2 1391.910
[19,]  2 0  0 1413.639
[20,]  2 0  1 1408.249
[21,]  2 0  2 1408.343
[22,]  2 1  0 1396.588
[23,]  2 1  1 1378.338
[24,]  2 1  2 1387.409
[25,]  2 2  0 1440.078
[26,]  2 2  1 1393.882
[27,]  2 2  2 1392.659
$min
ar        d       ma      AIC
2.000    1.000    1.000 1378.338
> ArimaModel.5 <- Arima(AirPassengers$x,order=c(0,1,1),
+ include.mean=1,
+   seasonal=list(order=c(0,1,1),period=12))
> ArimaModel.5
Series: AirPassengers$x
ARIMA(0,1,1)(0,1,1)[12]
Call: Arima(x = AirPassengers$x, order = c(0, 1, 1), seasonal = list(order = c(0,      1, 1), period = 12), include.mean = 1)
Coefficients:
ma1     sma1
-0.3087  -0.1074
s.e.   0.0890   0.0828
sigma^2 estimated as 135.4:  log likelihood = -507.5
AIC = 1021   AICc = 1021.19   BIC = 1029.63
> summary(ArimaModel.5, cor=FALSE)
Series: AirPassengers$x
ARIMA(0,1,1)(0,1,1)[12]
Call: Arima(x = AirPassengers$x, order = c(0, 1, 1), seasonal = list(order = c(0,      1, 1), period = 12), include.mean = 1)
Coefficients:
ma1     sma1
-0.3087  -0.1074
s.e.   0.0890   0.0828
sigma^2 estimated as 135.4:  log likelihood = -507.5
AIC = 1021   AICc = 1021.19   BIC = 1029.63
In-sample error measures:
ME        RMSE         MAE         MPE        MAPE        MASE
0.32355285 11.09952005  8.16242469  0.04409006  2.89713514  0.31563730
Dataset79 <- predar3(ArimaModel.5,fore1=5)

 

And I also found an interesting Ref Sheet for Time Series functions in R-

http://cran.r-project.org/doc/contrib/Ricci-refcard-ts.pdf

and a slightly more exhaustive time series ref card

http://www.statistische-woche-nuernberg-2010.org/lehre/bachelor/datenanalyse/Refcard3.pdf

Also of interest a matter of opinion on issues in Time Series Analysis in R at

http://www.stat.pitt.edu/stoffer/tsa2/Rissues.htm

Of course , if I was the sales manager for SAS ETS I would be worried given the increasing capabilities in Time Series in R. But then again some deficiencies in R GUI for Time Series-

1) Layout is not very elegant

2) Not enough documented help (atleast for the Epack GUI- and no integrated help ACROSS packages-)

3) Graphical capabilties need more help documentation to interpret the output (especially in ACF and PACF plots)

More resources on Time Series using R.

http://people.bath.ac.uk/masgs/time%20series/TimeSeriesR2004.pdf

and http://www.statoek.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/veranstaltungen/zeitreihen/sommer03/ts_r_intro.pdf

and books

http://www.springer.com/economics/econometrics/book/978-0-387-77316-2

http://www.springer.com/statistics/statistical+theory+and+methods/book/978-0-387-75960-9

http://www.springer.com/statistics/statistical+theory+and+methods/book/978-0-387-75958-6

http://www.springer.com/statistics/statistical+theory+and+methods/book/978-0-387-75966-1

Predictive Forecasting in Commercial Applications

Most organizations tend to have a sales plan or forecast for the next 1 year.This is done for internal planning as well as give guidance to financial investment analysts covering the listed company.

However a lot of organizations use simplistic linear models of

1) either growth based on previous history (Last year Sales * Factor of forecast (e.g 10 % growth in sales) -TIME SERIES APPROACH

OR

2) growth based on macro economic causal factors (e.g economy is in recession hence sales will grow by 3 %) REGRESSION BASED APPROACH and

3) A consensus of industrial factors (We have spare capacity of 10 % so we will likely slash prices and have sales growth of 2 % but profit growth of -3%) DELPHI BASED APPROACH (this is also based on bottoms up market feedback and top down sales pressure).

A better approach is to combine all these approaches in one or different models .

This can help build a much more robust forecasting model for organizations using nothing more than simple combination of excel cells.

The following model assumes only seven factors and tries to build a stable and relatively easy to understand forecast model.

Forecasted Sales for this quarter =

Historic Sales for this quarter last year *A1

+ Historic Average Sales for this quarter for past three -five years (based on industry cycle ups -downs)*A2

+ Historic Sales for this quarter/Actual Sales of Last Quarter( for seasonal factors )*A3

+Causal Factor 1 ( Eg. Outsourcing is likely to grow by 15 % in this year) *A4

+Causal Factor 2 (Foreign Exchange Movement.Dollar is likely to depreciate by 10 %)*A5

+ Causal Factor 3 (Our bench strength is likely to grow by 3 % in this quarter)*A6

+ Percentage Error Factor *A7 (There will always be +-5 to15 % error in forecasts.Capturing this error also helps provide a feedback loop for planning).

Here A1- A7 are constants

In order to get actual values of A1-A7 , run this a regression (use the add-in and tools menu in excel) on actual data for past three years quarters (keeping last six months seperate)

Then run the actual equation on last two quarters and check for actual error. If error exceeds the comfort level (+-3 % for critical industries and +-15 % for harder to predict industries) . Iterate the last two steps till you get a good equation.

Then substitute in the 7 factor predictive model to build your simple and robust sales plan for this quarter.

Happy forecasting !!!