Join Michael McDonald for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know, part of Applied Economic Forecasting with Big Data.
- [Instructor] Before getting started with this course, there's a few things you should know. First of all, we'll be using Excel extensively throughout the course as a tool for making forecasts in a variety of settings. You should be familiar with Excel. Not only should you know how to move around Excel and navigate the tabs effectively, but it'll also be helpful if you understand how to change decimal places in Excel, how to convert numbers to currency, how to convert numbers to percentages, et cetera. It'll also be helpful if you have some experience with the analysis tool pack in Excel, as we'll relying heavily on that.
In additional to a knowledge of Excel, you'll want to have some basic knowledge of statistics. In particular, a minimal knowledge of the script of statistics like means and medians is helpful. It'll also be great if you have some background in regression analysis or more advance statistics as well. In addition to statistics, you'll need some familiarity with basic accounting and finance. You don't have to be a professional accountant, mind you. You don't have to have worked at a big bank, but if you have an understand of what revenue is, interest rates are, what net profit means, it'll make a lot of what I'm talking about in this course make much more sense.
Finally, and most importantly, you'll need to be hungry for this course. You'll need a hunger for knowledge.
Professor Michael McDonald demonstrates how to harness the wealth of information available on the Internet to forecast statistics such as industry growth, GDP, and unemployment rates, as well as factors that directly affect your business, like property prices and future interest rate hikes. All you need is Microsoft Excel. Michael uses the built-in formulas, functions, and calculations to perform regression analysis, calculate confidence intervals, and stress test your results. He also covers time series exponential smoothing, fixed effects regression, and difference estimators. You'll walk away from the course able to immediately begin creating forecasts for your own business needs.
- Understanding big data and economic forecasting
- Predicting values with regressions
- Analyzing economic trends and economic cycles
- Using fixed-effects regressions and binary regressions for forecasting
- Assessing the accuracy of an economic forecast
- Using scenario analysis