In an earlier column, we explored how to create a forecast using a blank template in Power BI. Today we will explore creating a forecast based on already existing data. This can be helpful in several scenarios.
(a) You can create a forecast based on actual performance (from past periods).
(b) You can create a newer version of an already existing forecast, instead of updating forecast data directly. This can be helpful when you want to archive older forecast versions or if you want to run variance analysis between forecast versions.
(c) You want to update the forecast submitted by someone else in the organization.
To demonstrate how to do this in Power BI, let us take the example of ACME Corp. The firm already has a forecast (v1) for the year 2023. It wants to create a newer baseline version (v2) of the forecast, on top of which it wants to make further adjustments.
The steps involved in creating a new forecast based on existing data are as follows: Create your baseline report that shows the existing forecast (v1).
1. Create your baseline report that shows the existing forecast (v1).
2. Click on Insert --> Data Input --> Number --> Copy from another series --> Forecast v1, as shown below.
3. This creates a copy of the original series. Name this new forecast as Forecast v2. Click on Create.
4. You can start editing the individual cell values. For example, double-click the cell corresponding to Jan --> Forecast V2 for APAC. Type in 11m in the formula bar that appears above the table.
5. Press Enter, and the cell value automatically gets updated. In addition, the value automatically rolls up to the top (International and All regions) and updates the grand total.
You can continue to make further changes like this to arrive at your finalized forecast version. Leaving the older version of the forecast is helpful to run variance analysis and comparisons as needed.
The newer version of the forecast can also be written back to a database destination of your choice.
Explore more about Forecasting in Power BI here.
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