I'm estimating a deadline, when my time series will add up (total so far) to a certain large number. I'm doing so by getting a forecast line, plus or minus the RMS error of the known values. But if I the error every period, and subtract it every period, to get the upper and lower bounds on my estimate, that will yield a worse estimate of my deadline than is likely. How do I find the error more reasonably? Should I instead use the RMS error itself, not compounded many times, since over time the underestimates and overestimates will tend to add up to something within the RMS error? (Something like that reasoning, anyway. The series is generally decreasing, so maybe that's a reasonable idea.) Any better ideas?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you trying to determine when a cumulative # like annual sales to date will exceed a "certain large number" given the monthly sales so far ? $\endgroup$
    – IrishStat
    Dec 7, 2016 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ @IrishStat, yes, precisely. (But it's a greater disparity of scale than monthly and year-to-date -- more like daily and lifetime-to-date.) $\endgroup$
    – questioner
    Dec 7, 2016 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ why don't you post your data ..... $\endgroup$
    – IrishStat
    Dec 8, 2016 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ If you are happy with an answer .. select it and close the question $\endgroup$
    – IrishStat
    Dec 11, 2016 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


You might want to pursue http://autobox.com/cms/index.php/blog/entry/will-we-make-the-month-qtargetq-number as it deals with your kind of question. If you post your daily data in a csv file and define what the data is and define your target # I will try and make sense of it.

I answered a similar question ( at least similar to me !) here Confidence Interval derivation and received a down vote without any explanation or reflection. It is, at least to me, kind of counter-productive not to explain why the down vote thus consequently not providing positive feedback or a viable way forward.

You might consider re-titling your question in the spirit of my initial comment as your problem should have more of a spotlight and get more attention.

  • $\begingroup$ good title EXCEPT it should say "how long will it take the YTD to hit a specified goal with xx% confidence" $\endgroup$
    – IrishStat
    Dec 7, 2016 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't downvote the answer referred to; I don't always explain downvotes. Not surprised that you're disappointed (++) but now that the downvote has been declared "nasty" it is unlikely that the downvoter will declare their identity. That's one common reason people don't declare themselves: some measurement of irritation (upwards) can be expressed by the downvoted. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Dec 7, 2016 at 19:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ u r right as usual ... I am sure that you didn't down vote and not comment why as you have an earned reputation for civility ( which I try to emulate ). $\endgroup$
    – IrishStat
    Dec 7, 2016 at 19:48

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