Business Assist Forecast is a tool that enables quick and confident forecasting of future support volume based on historical data, which can save time compared to manually analyzing past trends and volume levels. By using this tool, customer service leaders, managers, and agents can reliably predict service-call volumes to manage staffing levels. Adopting this service can help reduce your organization’s help desk costs and provide great customer experience, as it is powered by Microsoft Support.
Quickly find Business Assist Forecast Add-in
All add-ins, including the Business Assist Forecast Add-in, can now be found, and activated in two locations: the Home tab and the File tab. Users can select Add-ins” in the Home tab or “Get add-in” on the Find tab to access and use the Business Assist Forecast Add-in.
By selecting the Add button, you can quickly install and activate the Add-in for Business Assist Forecast in less than a minute.
How the add-in works and the benefits it provides
Our goal is to offer users the best possible forecasting experience, powered by our AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) models that operate in the background of this service.
- With this add-in, users can forecast upcoming cases and conversation volumes based on historical traffic data, which can help with staff management and reduce support costs.
- Additionally, users can visualize forecast volumes on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis for a time range of up to six months.
- The ML (machine learning) model behind this add-in can also automatically detect and adjust repeated seasonal events and holidays from historical traffic, with the option to import your service calendar. This helps the forecasting model to accurately predict volume during special or seasonal events, improving the overall accuracy of the forecasts.
How to use the add-in
To utilize the add-in, first make sure it is installed and activated. Then, input your data into Excel using the following two fields:
- Date (in one of the supported formats):
- yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss
- yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm
- mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss
- mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm
- Volume (ticket count)
Select the Business Assist Forecast Add-in and then, from the right flyout panel, select the forecast end date and seasonality from the drop-down menu. It is important to note that seasonality does not determine the output format, but rather shows the repeated cycle of the input file (for example, a daily input file has a daily pattern). After entering these details, click “Run Forecast.”
Once the forecast is generated and the job has successfully completed, two sheets will appear:
Predictions: Contains the forecast, as well as low and high values. Forecast is the mean value and those low and high numbers they represent the 95th percentile of the mean value.
Chart: Displays the forecast value and prediction graphical chart.
The Business Assist Forecast Add-in for Excel is a powerful tool that can help businesses forecast customer support volume, manage staffing levels, and reduce support costs using the advanced statistical model that Microsoft uses to manage their own support forecasts. With its easy-to-use interface and AI/ML-powered forecasting models this add-in is a valuable addition to any customer service team’s toolkit. We encourage you to try it out and see the benefits for yourself.