Stock forecasting using SQL Server Analysis Services

I would like a pointer as to how I could use SQL Server 2005 AS to forecast expected stock usage, based on a trend of past stock usage?

Any links / books / tutorials / other suggestions appreciated.
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Books by the Kimball group (Ralph Kimball) seem to be the most popular and respected.  Below is a link for one that is specific to SQL Server 2005.
Before you start using any tool to forecast expected stock usage in any industry you need to have a good management hypothesis about how you want to do it.

Do you have seasonal trends, is there pipeline work, marketing campaigns? What is the stock lead time / sales period and how far out do you want / need to forecast?

It depends which feild you're in as to what books to suggest. Have a trawl about online first before you go much further.

Choosing the tool to help you calculate this is the second stage. SQL Server 2005 AS may not the best solution - you may find a spreadsheet does the job much better, strange but true in many cases.
egxisAuthor Commented:
Well, the stock I am looking to manage needs to be for multiple clients, with real time reports on their stock movement, and using historical usage of stock data give them reports on what their stock planning can be for the next 3/6/12 months, based on the historical data I already have.

I won't know if they have a marketing drive, as an example, but the data is available to them, and if they did a marketing drive they would see a spike and their real time figures, and this may skew future stock forecasts if previous stock figures were used.

I really don't have a clue where I can look for information on forecasting models, but I hoped that AS may have some tools to make this task easier for me.
I think that you need to look at the basic requirements first and think them through given all the data you have to hand.

Before you start looking at AS dump some data into Excel and play with pivot tables to understand what you've got.

Make sure you look at supplier orders and understand their stock requirements. They may be seasonal - they may be flat.

Once you've built a picture you can start on forecasting.

If all else fails ask the suppliers if they can help - they may well be forecasting their requirements and all you need to do is pull down their forecasts.

AS is a data-warehousing and reporting tool but it doesn't give you solutions it just presents data. I hope you're not thinking that it'll resolve these issues for you.

It depends on what you're trying to achieve and this really isn't a question for EE in my view it's a business problem that requires someone in your business to come up with an answer. Alternatively hire some consultants to work it out for you.

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egxisAuthor Commented:
Hmmm - I suppose this is not quite I wanted. It's true that I have analyze the business requirements.
fesnyng: I had a look at the ToC and that particular book doesn't appear to answer myquestions. I am comfy with RS & ETL, but I didn't see much with regard to creating forecasting models.
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Microsoft SQL Server 2005

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