Is it finally time to buy a new Mac?

Have you been recently experiencing problems on your Mac computer? Are you wondering if you should shell out some cash for a new one or if it’s better to stick to your current device? If so, we are here to help. In this article, we list down the surefire signs that you need to buy a new Mac.

Your device can’t support the latest macOS version

Apple releases a new version of macOS every September or October. Typically, Mac models from the past several years are supported. So if your device can’t update to the latest version, it’s a sign that you need to have your Mac replaced.

As of this writing, the latest macOS version is 10.15 Catalina. Here are the following Mac models that support the update:

  • MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
  • iMac (2012 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2012 and later)

This means that devices made earlier than those in the list cannot install macOS Catalina. For instance, if you have a 2010 Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion, it cannot support Catalina. Your device is likely to be deemed obsolete, and while you can continue using it as usual, you won’t get any new features, and you might experience productivity issues.

You’ve run out of free space

File sizes are constantly growing, which means that they are bound to take up more space in computer hard drives. If your Mac only has 128 or 256 GB of storage space, you’ll find yourself freeing up space for new files often. You have the option to purchase flash drives or external hard drives, but these aren’t built into your system, so the chances of losing them — and your files — are very high.

It would then be more ideal to just purchase a new Mac. Newer versions offer 1 TB of storage, which offers significantly bigger storage than older Macs.

Your Mac has poor specs

If frozen screens, slow-loading apps, and poor battery life are already a part of your typical day while using your Mac, then it might be time to replace it.

For instance, the performance of a hard disk drive (HDD) slows down with age, which could cause your computer to load files and programs sluggishly. The same principle applies to your battery. You may experience short standby and usage times, or the device could just shut down by itself. There’s the option of plugging in your device to an outlet while using it, but this sacrifices portability.

To mitigate these issues, you can add more RAM, swap out the HDD, or replace the battery. It’s important to note that some components are soldered to the motherboard, so replacing them may not be an option. The money you would spend on upgrading your Mac would be better put towards a new machine, which will not only be faster, but also much more reliable.

Your Mac has hardware damage

You need to replace your Mac if it has suffered serious physical damage. This could range from a broken display, damaged hard drives, missing keyboard buttons, or nonfunctioning USB and charging ports.

It’s easy to have your device fixed, but it’s not the most financially sound decision to invest money in an obsolete machine when you can buy a new one that will last longer. Remember that small issues can also become major problems. Let’s say you’re using your Mac with a heavily cracked screen. The device might be usable for a while, but the display might stop functioning anytime, and this would be an inconvenience if you’re in the middle of something important.

If problems on your Mac are already affecting your productivity, consider replacing it with a newer version that performs much better and has no hardware damage.

You’re experiencing software issues

An outdated Mac can experience software problems such as unresponsive apps, visual glitches, and random shutdowns. If your Mac is running an old operating system (OS), it might run into software compatibility issues. For instance, a program may refuse to run because your OS is outdated.

You can usually fix these problems by freeing up your random access memory (RAM) or storage space. Reinstalling macOS is also a good option. If the problems persist, however, you should consider investing in a new Mac.

It’s important to have a Mac that not only performs well, but also helps you become more productive and efficient. If you want to learn more about replacing your Mac, drop our experts a line today and we’ll be in touch.

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Should you replace your Mac?

If you’ve owned a Mac for quite some time, it’s probable that you’ve gone through a few issues while using it. And after a while, using it can be more of a hassle than a convenience. If you’re already experiencing some major issues, it may be time to replace your Mac. Here are some telltale signs that you should.

Your device can’t support the latest macOS version

Apple releases a new version of macOS every September or October. Typically, Mac models from the past several years are supported. So if your device can’t update to the latest version, it’s a sign that you need to have your Mac replaced.

As of this writing, the latest macOS version is 10.15 Catalina. Here are the following Mac models that support the update:

  • MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
  • iMac (2012 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2012 and later)

This means that devices made earlier than those in the list cannot install macOS Catalina. For instance, if you have a 2010 Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion, it cannot support Catalina. Your device is likely to be deemed obsolete, and while you can continue using it as usual, you won’t get any new features, and you might experience productivity issues.

You’ve run out of free space

File sizes are constantly growing, which means that they are bound to take up more space in computer hard drives. If your Mac only has 128 or 256 GB of storage space, you’ll find yourself freeing up space for new files often. You have the option to purchase flash drives or external hard drives, but these aren’t built into your system, so the chances of losing them — and your files — are very high.

It would then be more ideal to just purchase a new Mac. Newer versions offer 1 TB of storage, which offers significantly bigger storage than older Macs.

Your Mac has poor specs

If frozen screens, slow-loading apps, and poor battery life are already a part of your typical day while using your Mac, then it might be time to replace it.

For instance, the performance of a hard disk drive (HDD) slows down with age, which could cause your computer to load files and programs sluggishly. The same principle applies to your battery. You may experience short standby and usage times, or the device could just shut down by itself. There’s the option of plugging in your device to an outlet while using it, but this sacrifices portability.

To mitigate these issues, you can add more RAM, swap out the HDD, or replace the battery. It’s important to note that some components are soldered to the motherboard, so replacing them may not be an option. The money you would spend on upgrading your Mac would be better put towards a new machine, which will not only be faster, but also much more reliable.

Your Mac has hardware damage

You need to replace your Mac if it has suffered serious physical damage. This could range from a broken display, damaged hard drives, missing keyboard buttons, or nonfunctioning USB and charging ports.

It’s easy to have your device fixed, but it’s not the most financially sound decision to invest money in an obsolete machine when you can buy a new one that will last longer. Remember that small issues can also become major problems. Let’s say you’re using your Mac with a heavily cracked screen. The device might be usable for a while, but the display might stop functioning anytime, and this would be an inconvenience if you’re in the middle of something important.

If problems on your Mac are already affecting your productivity, consider replacing it with a newer version that performs much better and has no hardware damage.

You’re experiencing software issues

An outdated Mac can experience software problems such as unresponsive apps, visual glitches, and random shutdowns. If your Mac is running an old operating system (OS), it might run into software compatibility issues. For instance, a program may refuse to run because your OS is outdated.

You can usually fix these problems by freeing up your random access memory (RAM) or storage space. Reinstalling macOS is also a good option. If the problems persist, however, you should consider investing in a new Mac.

It’s important to have a Mac that not only performs well, but also helps you become more productive and efficient. If you want to learn more about replacing your Mac, drop our experts a line today and we’ll be in touch.

Posted in Apple, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

6 Signs it’s time to replace your Mac

Apple computers are built to last. However, you’ll eventually experience some issues with their machines and have to replace it with a new one. But how do you determine if it’s finally time to put your Mac to rest? Let’s highlight some of the signs you need to look out for.

Your device can’t support the latest macOS version

Apple releases a new version of macOS every September or October. Typically, Mac models from the past several years are supported. So if your device can’t update to the latest version, it’s a sign that you need to have your Mac replaced.

As of this writing, the latest macOS version is 10.15 Catalina. Here are the following Mac models that support the update:

  • MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
  • iMac (2012 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2012 and later)

This means that devices made earlier than those in the list cannot install macOS Catalina. For instance, if you have a 2010 Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion, it cannot support Catalina. Your device is likely to be deemed obsolete, and while you can continue using it as usual, you won’t get any new features, and you might experience productivity issues.

You’ve run out of free space

File sizes are constantly growing, which means that they are bound to take up more space in computer hard drives. If your Mac only has 128 or 256 GB of storage space, you’ll find yourself freeing up space for new files often. You have the option to purchase flash drives or external hard drives, but these aren’t built into your system, so the chances of losing them — and your files — are very high.

It would then be more ideal to just purchase a new Mac. Newer versions offer 1 TB of storage, which offers significantly bigger storage than older Macs.

Your Mac has poor specs

If frozen screens, slow-loading apps, and poor battery life are already a part of your typical day while using your Mac, then it might be time to replace it.

For instance, the performance of a hard disk drive (HDD) slows down with age, which could cause your computer to load files and programs sluggishly. The same principle applies to your battery. You may experience short standby and usage times, or the device could just shut down by itself. There’s the option of plugging in your device to an outlet while using it, but this sacrifices portability.

To mitigate these issues, you can add more RAM, swap out the HDD, or replace the battery. It’s important to note that some components are soldered to the motherboard, so replacing them may not be an option. The money you would spend on upgrading your Mac would be better put towards a new machine, which will not only be faster, but also much more reliable.

Your Mac has hardware damage

You need to replace your Mac if it has suffered serious physical damage. This could range from a broken display, damaged hard drives, missing keyboard buttons, or nonfunctioning USB and charging ports.

It’s easy to have your device fixed, but it’s not the most financially sound decision to invest money in an obsolete machine when you can buy a new one that will last longer. Remember that small issues can also become major problems. Let’s say you’re using your Mac with a heavily cracked screen. The device might be usable for a while, but the display might stop functioning anytime, and this would be an inconvenience if you’re in the middle of something important.

If problems on your Mac are already affecting your productivity, consider replacing it with a newer version that performs much better and has no hardware damage.

You’re experiencing software issues

An outdated Mac can experience software problems such as unresponsive apps, visual glitches, and random shutdowns. If your Mac is running an old operating system (OS), it might run into software compatibility issues. For instance, a program may refuse to run because your OS is outdated.

You can usually fix these problems by freeing up your random access memory (RAM) or storage space. Reinstalling macOS is also a good option. If the problems persist, however, you should consider investing in a new Mac.

It’s important to have a Mac that not only performs well, but also helps you become more productive and efficient. If you want to learn more about replacing your Mac, drop our experts a line today and we’ll be in touch.

Posted in Apple, General Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Things to consider when buying a Wi-Fi router

A strong network enables your business to surf the web and access cloud productivity apps. Behind these networks are Wi-Fi routers that keep your devices connected to the internet. While there are many more components involved in setting up a strong network, your choice of router can make a huge difference. Here are some tips to help you find the right router for your business.

Network type

Look at any router and you will quickly see that there are a number of different networks available. The four most commonly found are 802.1b, 802.1g, 802.1n, and 802.11ac. These designations indicate how fast the router can transfer wireless data, with 802.11ac being the fastest of these four. Those who want to connect multiple devices via Wi-Fi or cable may do better with 802.11ac router.

Throughput

This is closely associated with the router’s network type, and is usually one of the first things listed on router boxes and specifications. To spot the router’s throughput, look for Mbps. This indicates the speed at which the router is supposed to transmit data from your connection to users.

Keep in mind that if you have a 100Mbps internet connection, but a router that is only, say, 80 Mbps, then the total speed will be the lower figure. Therefore, it would be a good idea to get a router with a higher throughput to accommodate faster connections.

Range

This is particularly important for users who will be connecting via Wi-Fi as they will likely not be sitting right beside the router. The farther you are from your router, the slower and weaker your connection will be. Typically, 802.11ac will offer the strongest connections and greatest range.

Bands

On every single router’s box, you will see numbers like 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. These indicate the wireless radios on the router. A dual-band router will have both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz radios which allow devices to connect to different bands so as not to overload a connection. Those who connect to a 5Ghz band will generally have better performance, but the broadcast range will be much shorter than the 2.4Ghz radio.

Quality of service (QoS)

QoS is a newer feature that allows the router administrator to limit certain types of traffic. For example, you can use the QoS feature of a router to completely block all torrent traffic, or limit it so that other users can have equal bandwidth. Not every router has this ability, but it is a highly beneficial feature for office routers.

Beamforming

Beamforming is a recent feature that’s becoming a standard in mid- to high-end routers. It is a form of signal technology that allows for better throughput in dead areas of a business. In other words, it can help improve the connection quality with devices behind solid walls or in rooms with high amounts of interference.

By utilizing this technology, routers can see where connection is weak and act to improve it. While this is available on routers with many network types, it is really only useful with routers running 802.11ac. Those who don’t mind paying a higher price point for an increase in network performance should consider this feature.

Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO)

MIMO is the use of multiple antennas to increase performance and overall throughput. MIMO-enabled routers ensure that more devices can connect to one router with less interference.

When it comes to real-world tests, there is often a slight improvement if antennas are configured and aimed properly. However, getting a high-end router with six or more antennae may be an unnecessary cost for small businesses.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking a router, which is why we recommend you contact us. We can evaluate your networking needs and help you find the best set up for your business.

Posted in General Articles C, Hardware | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

What Wi-Fi router features to look for

Wireless routers are essential for operating a modern business. Routers allow one network connection to essentially be split into many and then shared by different users and devices — usually over a Wi-Fi connection. If you are looking for a new Wi-Fi router for your office, there are some important features you should be aware of.

Network type

Look at any router and you will quickly see that there are a number of different networks available. The four most commonly found are 802.1b, 802.1g, 802.1n, and 802.11ac. These designations indicate how fast the router can transfer wireless data, with 802.11ac being the fastest of these four. Those who want to connect multiple devices via Wi-Fi or cable may do better with 802.11ac router.

Throughput

This is closely associated with the router’s network type, and is usually one of the first things listed on router boxes and specifications. To spot the router’s throughput, look for Mbps. This indicates the speed at which the router is supposed to transmit data from your connection to users.

Keep in mind that if you have a 100Mbps internet connection, but a router that is only, say, 80 Mbps, then the total speed will be the lower figure. Therefore, it would be a good idea to get a router with a higher throughput to accommodate faster connections.

Range

This is particularly important for users who will be connecting via Wi-Fi as they will likely not be sitting right beside the router. The farther you are from your router, the slower and weaker your connection will be. Typically, 802.11ac will offer the strongest connections and greatest range.

Bands

On every single router’s box, you will see numbers like 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. These indicate the wireless radios on the router. A dual-band router will have both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz radios which allow devices to connect to different bands so as not to overload a connection. Those who connect to a 5Ghz band will generally have better performance, but the broadcast range will be much shorter than the 2.4Ghz radio.

Quality of service (QoS)

QoS is a newer feature that allows the router administrator to limit certain types of traffic. For example, you can use the QoS feature of a router to completely block all torrent traffic, or limit it so that other users can have equal bandwidth. Not every router has this ability, but it is a highly beneficial feature for office routers.

Beamforming

Beamforming is a recent feature that’s becoming a standard in mid- to high-end routers. It is a form of signal technology that allows for better throughput in dead areas of a business. In other words, it can help improve the connection quality with devices behind solid walls or in rooms with high amounts of interference.

By utilizing this technology, routers can see where connection is weak and act to improve it. While this is available on routers with many network types, it is really only useful with routers running 802.11ac. Those who don’t mind paying a higher price point for an increase in network performance should consider this feature.

Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO)

MIMO is the use of multiple antennas to increase performance and overall throughput. MIMO-enabled routers ensure that more devices can connect to one router with less interference.

When it comes to real-world tests, there is often a slight improvement if antennas are configured and aimed properly. However, getting a high-end router with six or more antennae may be an unnecessary cost for small businesses.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking a router, which is why we recommend you contact us. We can evaluate your networking needs and help you find the best set up for your business.

Posted in General Articles B, Hardware | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Choosing an office Wi-Fi router

Selecting a Wi-Fi router, much like selecting any other piece of equipment for your business, can be a complicated task. There are a variety of models available that it can be a chore to work out the best option. However, if you know what features to look for, it’s much easier to make the right decision.

Network type

Look at any router and you will quickly see that there are a number of different networks available. The four most commonly found are 802.1b, 802.1g, 802.1n, and 802.11ac. These designations indicate how fast the router can transfer wireless data, with 802.11ac being the fastest of these four. Those who want to connect multiple devices via Wi-Fi or cable may do better with 802.11ac router.

Throughput

This is closely associated with the router’s network type, and is usually one of the first things listed on router boxes and specifications. To spot the router’s throughput, look for Mbps. This indicates the speed at which the router is supposed to transmit data from your connection to users.

Keep in mind that if you have a 100Mbps internet connection, but a router that is only, say, 80 Mbps, then the total speed will be the lower figure. Therefore, it would be a good idea to get a router with a higher throughput to accommodate faster connections.

Range

This is particularly important for users who will be connecting via Wi-Fi as they will likely not be sitting right beside the router. The farther you are from your router, the slower and weaker your connection will be. Typically, 802.11ac will offer the strongest connections and greatest range.

Bands

On every single router’s box, you will see numbers like 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. These indicate the wireless radios on the router. A dual-band router will have both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz radios which allow devices to connect to different bands so as not to overload a connection. Those who connect to a 5Ghz band will generally have better performance, but the broadcast range will be much shorter than the 2.4Ghz radio.

Quality of service (QoS)

QoS is a newer feature that allows the router administrator to limit certain types of traffic. For example, you can use the QoS feature of a router to completely block all torrent traffic, or limit it so that other users can have equal bandwidth. Not every router has this ability, but it is a highly beneficial feature for office routers.

Beamforming

Beamforming is a recent feature that’s becoming a standard in mid- to high-end routers. It is a form of signal technology that allows for better throughput in dead areas of a business. In other words, it can help improve the connection quality with devices behind solid walls or in rooms with high amounts of interference.

By utilizing this technology, routers can see where connection is weak and act to improve it. While this is available on routers with many network types, it is really only useful with routers running 802.11ac. Those who don’t mind paying a higher price point for an increase in network performance should consider this feature.

Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO)

MIMO is the use of multiple antennas to increase performance and overall throughput. MIMO-enabled routers ensure that more devices can connect to one router with less interference.

When it comes to real-world tests, there is often a slight improvement if antennas are configured and aimed properly. However, getting a high-end router with six or more antennae may be an unnecessary cost for small businesses.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking a router, which is why we recommend you contact us. We can evaluate your networking needs and help you find the best set up for your business.

Posted in General Articles A, Hardware | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Denial-of-service attacks on VoIP systems

When most of us think of cyberthreats, we think of viruses, Trojans, and ransomware. Unfortunately, those aren’t the only ones to look out for. One of the biggest threats to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems are denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, so if you have a VoIP system, you better read on.

Denial-of-service attacks

The end goal of any DoS attack is to overwhelm a system with so many requests that the system is eventually forced to shut down. Telephony DoS (TDoS) attack is a subcategory leveled at VoIP systems. Alarmingly, this attack is commonly used against hospitals and 911 phone lines. Much like ransomware, some TDoS attackers even demand a ransom to halt the attack. They take advantage of cryptocurrencies and caller-ID spoofing to make it incredibly difficult to identify attackers.

TDoS attacks generally employ fewer resources than the DoS attacks that are designed to cripple IT systems such as networks, servers, and software. At its most basic, all that a TDoS attack requires is an automated phone dialer that calls a target phone number and hangs up — over and over. That very simple strategy can stop anyone else from getting through the line.

What organizations need to do

Counterintuitive as it might sound, locking down your VoIP system with complicated and unnecessary security measures will ultimately do more harm than good. Most businesses can’t operate if they can’t communicate with their customers.

Although VoIP may be a digital resource similar to your other IT systems, the very nature of phone lines makes it impossible to hide them behind firewalls and other protections. However, there are new solutions that offer protection to VoIP systems. There are now new security protocols that can protect your communication infrastructure against those who try to use force to gain access to your directory information. These protocols can also identify, reroute, and filter calls coming from known attackers.

If you’re experiencing any abnormalities with your VoIP system, or if you want to deploy the most up-to-date solution that the market has to offer, our expert staff is ready to help you at the drop of a hat — just call today.

Posted in General Articles C, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Why telephony and VoIP attacks continue

Hackers will never stop looking for new ways to hurt your business. One way is through launching denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. Read on for a complete rundown of this cyberthreat.

Denial-of-service attacks

The end goal of any DoS attack is to overwhelm a system with so many requests that the system is eventually forced to shut down. Telephony DoS (TDoS) attack is a subcategory leveled at VoIP systems. Alarmingly, this attack is commonly used against hospitals and 911 phone lines. Much like ransomware, some TDoS attackers even demand a ransom to halt the attack. They take advantage of cryptocurrencies and caller-ID spoofing to make it incredibly difficult to identify attackers.

TDoS attacks generally employ fewer resources than the DoS attacks that are designed to cripple IT systems such as networks, servers, and software. At its most basic, all that a TDoS attack requires is an automated phone dialer that calls a target phone number and hangs up — over and over. That very simple strategy can stop anyone else from getting through the line.

What organizations need to do

Counterintuitive as it might sound, locking down your VoIP system with complicated and unnecessary security measures will ultimately do more harm than good. Most businesses can’t operate if they can’t communicate with their customers.

Although VoIP may be a digital resource similar to your other IT systems, the very nature of phone lines makes it impossible to hide them behind firewalls and other protections. However, there are new solutions that offer protection to VoIP systems. There are now new security protocols that can protect your communication infrastructure against those who try to use force to gain access to your directory information. These protocols can also identify, reroute, and filter calls coming from known attackers.

If you’re experiencing any abnormalities with your VoIP system, or if you want to deploy the most up-to-date solution that the market has to offer, our expert staff is ready to help you at the drop of a hat — just call today.

Posted in General Articles B, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

TDoS: An attack on VoIP systems

Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are nothing new. But most businesses have no idea how to prevent this type of attack on their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system. If you’re one of those businesses, we have everything you need to know right here.

Denial-of-service attacks

The end goal of any DoS attack is to overwhelm a system with so many requests that the system is eventually forced to shut down. Telephony DoS (TDoS) attack is a subcategory leveled at VoIP systems. Alarmingly, this attack is commonly used against hospitals and 911 phone lines. Much like ransomware, some TDoS attackers even demand a ransom to halt the attack. They take advantage of cryptocurrencies and caller-ID spoofing to make it incredibly difficult to identify attackers.

TDoS attacks generally employ fewer resources than the DoS attacks that are designed to cripple IT systems such as networks, servers, and software. At its most basic, all that a TDoS attack requires is an automated phone dialer that calls a target phone number and hangs up — over and over. That very simple strategy can stop anyone else from getting through the line.

What organizations need to do

Counterintuitive as it might sound, locking down your VoIP system with complicated and unnecessary security measures will ultimately do more harm than good. Most businesses can’t operate if they can’t communicate with their customers.

Although VoIP may be a digital resource similar to your other IT systems, the very nature of phone lines makes it impossible to hide them behind firewalls and other protections. However, there are new solutions that offer protection to VoIP systems. There are now new security protocols that can protect your communication infrastructure against those who try to use force to gain access to your directory information. These protocols can also identify, reroute, and filter calls coming from known attackers.

If you’re experiencing any abnormalities with your VoIP system, or if you want to deploy the most up-to-date solution that the market has to offer, our expert staff is ready to help you at the drop of a hat — just call today.

Posted in General Articles A, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Power BI’s predictive forecasting

The phrase “make your own luck” is thrown around a lot by many successful business people, but what does it actually mean? Part of it means not being a victim of circumstances but rather using these to gain better circumstances over time. To help you prepare for future challenges and opportunities, Office 365 has predictive forecasting: Power BI’s powerful business analytics tool.

Predictive forecasting uses a variety of statistical techniques, such as modeling and data mining, to analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about the future.
The predictive forecasting function of Office 365 provides users with the skills to generate reports, interactive charts, and 3D visualizations of business performance.

Its built-in predictive forecasting models can automatically detect seasonality in the data, though users can override this by applying a non-seasonal algorithm if they so desire. It also enables users to see how results are affected by adjusting the parameters of the time or confidence interval assigned to be analyzed. Simply put, users can perform advanced forecasting without the complexity that usually accompanies these kinds of processes.

Power BI’s predictive forecasting can also help fill in gaps with data. Power View, an interactive data exploration and presentation tool, fills in missing values from a data set before carrying out a forecast for a more accurate result.

Get started with forecasting by doing following:

  1. Simply upload a workbook with a Power View time series line chart to Power BI for Office 365.
  2. Open the file in Power BI.
  3. Click on the forecast arrow or drag the forecast dot in the line chart and you’ll see forecasting parameters appear in the analysis pane to the right of your report. To get your forecast or projection, configure the parameters:
    1. Forecast Length – This lets you look as far into the future as you wish, be it in days, months, or years.
    2. Confidence Interval – This parameter allows you to indicate the probability of how close predicted values will be to the eventual actual numbers, e.g., you can be 80% certain that actual sales figures next year will be within the range of your forecast.
    3. Ignore Last – Outliers in datasets can distort averages and forecasts. For instance, you want to look into sales for the past 12 months, but you know that the data of every month goes through adjustments before being locked in. With Ignore Last, you can take out data from the most recent month if the numbers haven’t been adjusted yet.
    4. Seasonality – A dataset is said to exhibit seasonality when a pattern can be discerned when looking at values over cycles of time. If you anticipate seasonality in a particular workbook, you can specify if it is monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

Predictive forecasting, if used properly, can immensely help with the overall strategic planning, market penetration, and operation of your business.

Looking to learn more about Office 365 and its features? Call us today for a chat.

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