TS Covariate Forecast Tool Icon

TS Covariate Forecast Tool

Version:
Current
Last modified: December 27, 2019

The TS Covariate Forecast tool provides forecasts from an ARIMA model estimated using covariates for a user-specified number of future periods. In addition, upper and lower confidence interval bounds are provided for two different (user-specified) percentage confidence levels. For each confidence level, the expected probability that the true value will fall within the provided bounds corresponds to the confidence level percentage. In addition to the model, the covariate values for the forecast horizon must also be provided.

In some instances, the accuracy of time series forecasting model can be improved through the use of covariates (predictor variables other than past values of the target variable itself). For example, if a home appliance maker is interested in forecasting sales levels in their commercial sales division (i.e., appliances for new residential construction) then an important covariate for forecasting sales is likely to be past values of residential housing starts since appliances are among the last items placed into a new home. The TS Covariate Forecast tool allows for the creation of forecasts from ARIMA models that include covariates.

This tool uses the R tool. Go to Options > Download Predictive Tools and sign in to the Alteryx Downloads and Licenses portal to install R and the packages used by the R Tool. See Download and Use Predictive Tools.

Connect an input

The TS Covariate Forecast tool requires a Designer data stream that is either:

  • The output data stream from either an ARIMA Tool or ETS Tool.
  • A data stream that contains the relevant (future) covariate information. In many instances, these values may be forecasted values as well.

Tool configuration

Use the Configuration tab to set the controls for the time series covariate forecast.

  • The field name for the point forecast: The field name for the point forecasts in the output data stream. This name is also used as a prefix to the confidence bounds.
  • The percentage value of the larger confidence interval: This value can range from 1 to 99. Commonly used values for this range are 95 or 99 percent.
  • The percentage value of the smaller confidence interval: This value can range from 1 to 99. Commonly used values for this range are 80 or 90 percent.

Use the Graphics Options tab to set the controls for the graphical output.

  • Plot size: Select inches or centimeters for the size of the graph.
  • Graph resolution: Select the resolution of the graph in dots per inch: 1x (96 dpi); 2x (192 dpi); or 3x (288 dpi). Lower resolution creates a smaller file and is best for viewing on a monitor. Higher resolution creates a larger file with better print quality.
  • Base font size (points): Select the size of the font in the graph.

View the output

Connect a Browse tool to each output anchor to view results.

  • O anchor: Contains a data stream of the forecast values and confidence bounds.
  • R anchor: Consists of the report snippets of a table with the forecast values and confidence bounds and a forecast plot that shows both the historical values of the time series and forecast values with error bounds.
  • I anchor: An interactive html dashboard consisting of plots and metrics. You can interact with the visualizations by clicking on the different graphical elements to reveal more information, values, metrics and analytics.
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