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As more and more companies begin to understand the power and potential in data analysis and business forecasting, the fields for each have expanded. This includes both tools and services surrounding each industry that can help companies both large and small. Looking ahead to 2016, there are some trends that promise an even brighter future in terms of the power and ease of use in these areas.

Better Tools, Better Data, Better Results

The future trends for business forecasting essentially boil down to the tools and interpretation of data collection. Several companies now offer options for a forecasting tool for small business that use Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP for short. ERP is simply a shorthand way of talking about the collection of data across a number of platforms in order to deliver comprehensive intelligence and a Big Picture view of the health and future of a company.

The technology behind data collection and analysis will make forecasting easy and accessible for companies across every industry thanks, in part, to the emergence and improvement of cloud technology. Once seen as little more than a way to share files, cloud technology now powers some of the best and most well-respected software suites in the world, including established favorites like QuickBooks as well as new industry darlings like Shopify.

By incorporating programs and platforms that use cloud technology, ERP suites can gather data from literally every part of a business in order to develop historical data that can impact future business plans. This is perhaps the biggest development on the horizon for business forecasting, as it will finally put all the data companies have been warehousing to good use.

The Future Is Forecasting

While companies have been gathering and collecting data to understand trends for many years, forecasting has always been a bit touch and go. The evolution of new ERP suites heralds a new age when it comes to how effectively that data can be used. For many companies this means finally being able to look ahead with the same sense of confidence they have used to examine their past.