Top Top 10 Forecasting Tips

By Liz Turner, Loxysoft

  1. Verify the data.
    • If you have an automated feed from your ACD, make sure that the data is coming in every day.
    • Verify that the data is matching the reports you receive from the ACD.
  2. Mark special events.
    • Mark them for this year and do the same for next year. You never know when you’ll be asked to run a future long-range forecast.
  3. Mark “waste days” or “anomalies.”
    • Don’t let those anomalies impact your forecast. Whatever tool you have, follow the steps to normalize, exclude etc.
    • Make a note of why you did – memory is a fading thing!
  4. Analyze your data frequently.
    • This helps you to know your data and to know what changes are happening that you need to take into account.
  5. Track your day-of-week changes.
    • For example, know if Mondays are becoming lower than Tuesday, etc.
    • Knowing the changes will help when you’re building schedules and you notice that the schedules being offered are changing as well.
  6. Test your settings once or twice a year.
    • Watch your forecast accuracy and when you notice it may be slipping, test your settings to see what tweaks you may need.
  7. Get in the loop!
    • If you don’t know what changes are coming, you can’t prepare appropriately for them.
    • Work with your management to ensure that you are advised of all changes.
  8. Make sure to include upcoming changes in your forecast.
    • Will it influence the NCO and AHT?
    • Will it affect one, many, or all skills?
  9. Don’t just accept your forecast, review it. Remember, it is only as good as the data you input!
    • Look for changes that may indicate you need to perform #4 and #6 above.
      • Wednesday’s volume keeps forecasting much higher than Monday, but it doesn’t actually come in that high.
  10. Perform analysis so you know what impacts your FTE needs so you can speak to it.
    • Do you know how a 1% swing in utilization affects the FTE need?
      • Does a 1% change in utilization = a 1% change in FTEs needed?
      • Or does a 1% change = 1.7% change in FTEs needed?
    • Do you know what the threshold is where occupancy causes increased AHT?
    • What does a 1% change in AHT mean to the FTE needed?

Liz Turner is a long-time SWPP member and is currently Vice President of Customer Relations at Loxysoft. She may be reached at