Setting Up Your Sales Forecasting Baseline in Excel

By Conrad Carlberg

Part of Excel Sales Forecasting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

It is a good idea to set up your sales forecasting baseline in Excel. This table gives you instructions for dealing with issues that might arise as you set up your Excel baseline:

The Issue How to Deal with the Issue
Order Put your historical data in chronological order, earliest to latest.
Time periods Use time periods of approximately equal length: all weeks, all months, all quarters, or all years.
Same location in time If you’re sampling, then sample from the same place. Don’t take January 1, February 15, March 21. Instead, use January 1, February 1, March 1, and so on.
Missing data Missing data is not allowed. If you have every month except, say, June, find out what June’s sales were. If you can’t, get the best estimate possible — or start your forecasting with July.