Using forecasting to predict results

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23 Comments

  • Daniel Duan

    I'm very interested in this 'forecast' function, and may I have a rough picture on what is the mechanism of this predicting function?

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  • Ryan Mumby

    Kind of what Daniel's asking as well, I'd like more in depth info on how "Additive trend and multiplicative season or Additive trend and additive season method options" work and differ from each other.

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  • Rob Stack
    Zendesk Documentation Team

    Hi Ryan, I'm digging into this question, and I'll try and get you an answer and update the docs as soon as I can.

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  • Rob Stack
    Zendesk Documentation Team

    Hi again Ryan, I received some quite in-depth information about how forecasting works, and have added it to a section at the end of the article. I hope this helps, but if you have any problems, do let us know. Thanks! - Rob

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  • Ryan Mumby

    Great, thanks Rob. Some of it's a little over my head as an admin, but it definitely gives me more to go on, especially so I can communicate it to and work with our own internal analytics and reporting teams!

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  • Emma MacDonald

    Hi! My team was so excited about this feature, but we're having a really hard time getting it to work. We keep getting the error "forecast error year missing. If we're just trying to predict tickets created by week, and we have at least 2 years of data, what is the error referring to?

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  • Rob Stack
    Zendesk Documentation Team

    Hi Emma, I've opened a ticket on your behalf so somebody can look at your issue more closely. I'll be sure to update the docs if necessary once this ticket is resolved.

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  • Emma MacDonald

    Thank you, Rob! Appreciate your quick action! 

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  • Jasen Samford

    I'm also getting the "forecast_error_year_missing" message that Emma mentioned while trying to look at tickets created per month thus far, and using that to forecast tickets per month for the remainder of the year.

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  • Devan - Community Manager
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hello Jasen,

    I went ahead and ran some tests to see if the following would suffice as a solution to your error and I'm happy to report the instructions below should resolve your issue.

    So when you are using date levels, it's essential to make sure that you have all the appropriate levels in the query for the results to be accurate - and in the right order! If you use [month of year] and you have more than one year of data, the results will be aggregated - i.e., month 1 will show results for month 1 2018, and 2019 added together.

    For this reason, you also need to use the [year] level on the query, before the [month], to split everything out and keep it in the right order.

    Hope this clears things up a bit and let me know if you need anything else clarified further.

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  • Jasen Samford

    Awesome, thanks Devan! That worked for using all-time data, but if I try to forecast using only 2019 thus far (or 2018-2019), I get a new error that says "You need to have data for at least 2 cycles to forecast your result. Your current cycle length is 24." Any tips for that?

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  • Devan - Community Manager
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Jasen,

    Could you send me a screenshot of the settings you are selecting so I can run this buy one of our experts and see exactly where is mishap is taking place?

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  • John Cason

    Is there any advice on how to get an external metric (for example "# of our app active users") into Zendesk to use this for forecasting? Would be interesting since our product is evolving and changing and we watch the outside of Explore right now.

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  • Gentry Geissler
    Zendesk team member

    Hi John,
    Thanks for your question! Unfortunately, at this time there is no way to import sources for Explore. There may be a feature like that in the future, but I don't have any specifics about when that feature will be built and made available.

    Gentry G
    Customer Advocate

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  • Carl Cassar

    Hi Devan - Community Manager 

    Was the issue with this "You need to have data for at least 2 cycles to forecast your result. Your current cycle length is 7." solved please? If yes could you tell me how as its happening for us too

     

    Thanks

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  • Rob Stack
    Zendesk Documentation Team

    Hi Carl, I'd like to get one of the experts on the Explore team to take a look at this so I've opened a ticket. I'll add myself to the ticket so that I can make any necessary doc updates. Thanks!

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  • Gökhan Cicek

    I have a feedback about the forecasting. This year we had unexpected pikes in our ticket numbers due to pandemic. The forecast is building up on these numbers. However, we think it won't have the same trends at the same months or weeks next year.

    Is there a possibility to indicate that and get more realistics forecasts?

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  • Rob Stack
    Zendesk Documentation Team

    Hi Gökhan Cicek

    That's a really good question and I don't know the answer to that. I've created a ticket from your request so that one of the experts on the Explore team can take a look. If necessary, I'll make any required doc updates once they reply. Thanks for bringing this up!

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  • IanChan

    hi rob, was this item on the covid19 resolved? as we are also making forecast now for dec.  Appreciate any update. Thanks.

     

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  • Rob Stack
    Zendesk Documentation Team

    Hi IanChan thanks for the question and apologies for the slow update.


    The resolution was that Explore and the forecasting model it uses does not have a way to explicitly exclude data from a forecast. 

    Our recommendation in this case is to wait for a certain amount of time (perhaps for a few weeks) and run the forecast model once the data is more normalized. 

    Keep in mind that you will be able to specify "values per cycle" (the # of data points for the model to compute) and use it as a way to mitigate any outliers (months/weeks where the volume is drastically higher than the rest).

    I hope this helps a little. Thanks!

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  • IanChan

    Hi Rob Stack, thanks for the update. I made initial forecast for annual, monthly and also weekly. So far the forecast numbers are ok - except for the covid spike months of march-april-may 2020 are affecting generally the succeeding month and week. The annual not much. 

    Any other tweaks we can do for the forecasting reports? new or secret recipes?

    Thanks. 

    ian chan 

    Ezwadi Rosaidi just fyi  

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  • Rob Stack
    Zendesk Documentation Team

    Hi IanChan, thanks for the response. No secret recipes I'm afraid, but your feedback does help us a lot as we plan for Explore's future. Thanks again!

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  • IanChan

    ayt thanks rob!

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