WFM - Forecasting

  • Teaches how to collect and validate data
  • Covers proven practices for predicting workload
  • Explains advanced techniques to fine-tune predictions
  • Excellent for both onboarding and ongoing training
  • Created by a team of industry veterans and e-learning professionals

This course focuses on the forecasting specialization of the workforce management process. It provides the fundamental knowledge needed to accurately predict workload. You will learn how to collect and analyze historical workload data. You will master advanced forecasting techniques. And you will learn how to accurately forecast call volume and average handling time (AHT) down to 30-minute intervals per day.

The course WFM - Forecasting is also included in the bundles Staffing Essentials and Call Center Staffing.

Who should take this?

  • New hires in the workforce management department
  • Workforce management professionals that want to deepen their forecasting knowledge and improve their forecasting skills


Self-paced e-learning containing an engaging mix of video, narratives, scenarios, and self-assessments.

A certificate is provided if the mastery exam is passed successfully.

Time to complete

  • 6 months from starting the first module
  • Course contains 3 hours of content
  • The course will remain available for the entire 6 months, even after completion

The following units are included

1. Data Collection and Analysis

Getting Off to the Right Start

Data Collection and Analysis

The most critical step in the workforce management process is the collection and analysis of historical call data.

The best predictor of future call workload is past data. The key is gathering the right data. This interactive unit identifies the sources of historic call data, outlines the process of data validation and adjustment, and describes how to incorporate business drivers into your planning. It also outlines the data collection considerations crucial to your workforce management and planning process.

You’ll learn where to look for data and how to scrutinize that data to make sure it’s appropriate to feed into the forecasting process. You’ll also review mathematical techniques for analyzing data and making needed adjustments. Last, you’ll be taught the role of business drivers and how to incorporate them into the planning process.

Upon completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • Identify the sources of call center planning data.
  • Describe which key metrics are important for staff planning.
  • Ensure historical data is accurate and reliable.
  • Explain what a typical pattern is and how to identify it.
  • Explain what events are and how they affect different key metrics.
  • Outline the difference between planned and unplanned events.
  • Identify events visually or by applying mathematical methods.
  • Understand why it is important to normalize data and how to do it.
  • 7 modules
  • 55 min

Included modules and learning aims:

  1. Introduction 05 min

    • Learn why collecting and analyzing data in workforce management is essential.
    • Get a brief overview of what to expect in the modules of the course.
  2. Data Sources 10 min

    • Describe why both the quantity and the quality of the data collected are important in staff planning.
    • Identify common data sources used in contact centers.
  3. Metrics and Data Validation 10 min

    • Explain which key metrics in the contact center are important for the WFM process.
    • Describe how to ensure that the collected historical data is correct and reliable.
  4. Typical Patterns and Events 10 min

    • Explain how to recognize typical patterns and events in the collected data.
    • Describe what planned and unplanned events are and how these events impact different key metrics.
  5. Identify Events 5 min

    • Describe how to identify events in historical data by using mathematical methods such as standard deviation and box plots.
  6. Event Overview and Data Normalization 5 min

    • Explain how to normalize data.
    • Describe how to create an overview of events and their impacts on key metrics.
  7. Quiz 10 min

    In this module, we'll test your knowledge of the key learning points from the unit. To score a passing percentage of 80%, you must answer 8 of a possible 10 questions correctly.

2. Predict Workload

Proven Practices for Predicting Call Workload

Predict Workload

While forecasting approaches can range from a simple gut feeling to complex mathematical modeling, this unit covers the most common forecasting techniques used by contact centers today. It outlines the steps for developing a weekly, daily, and half-hourly forecast of call volume and average handling time (AHT).

You’ll learn the risks and benefits of different forecasting techniques, how to account for seasonality and how to apply time-series analysis to create a future forecast using historical data.

Upon completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • Predict weekly call volume using time series analysis.
  • Create an intra-week and an intra-day forecast.
  • Make a forecast for the AHT.
  • Include events in the forecast.
  • Calculate workload based on the forecasts for call volume and AHT.
  • Check the accuracy of a forecast.
  • 8 modules
  • 95 min

Included modules and learning aims:

  1. Introduction 10 min

    • Learn why forecasting future workloads is essential for contact centers.
    • Get a brief overview of what to expect in the modules of the course.
  2. Calculate Trend and Seasonality 15 min

    • Explain the steps for long-term prediction of call volume.
    • Perform time series analysis using Excel.
  3. Create an Intra-Week Forecast 10 min

    • Determine a "typical weekly pattern" and the average call volume for individual weekdays.
    • Describe how and when to weigh average values.
    • Create a forecast for the call volume of individual weekdays.
  4. Create an Intra-Day Forecast 10 min

    • Identify aberrations in daily call distributions and sort out atypical patterns (based on a visual check or figures).
    • Calculate an intra-day curve by determining the average call volume for individual time intervals.
    • Create a forecast for the call volume for a single day in 30-minute intervals.
  5. Predict Impact of Events 15 min

    • Determine additional call volume from quantifiable and non-quantifiable events.
    • Predict the distribution of additional call volume caused by special events.
  6. AHT Forecast 10 min

    • Explain how AHT is defined and why it’s important to forecast the AHT.
    • Create an intra-day forecast for the AHT.
    • Calculate the workload based on the forecasts for call volume and AHT.
  7. Forecast Accuracy 15 min

    • How to check the accuracy of your forecast and why this is important.
  8. Quiz 10 min

    In this module, we'll test your knowledge of the key learning points from the unit. To score a passing percentage of 80%, you must answer 14 of a possible 18 questions correctly.

Mastery Certification: WFM - Forecasting

After finishing all the content of the course, participants are eligible to take the mastery certification exam. A designation of Mastery Certification from The Call Center School validates and recognizes the learning achievements gained through the course.

Participants who successfully pass the mastery certification can download their certificate and share it directly via social media.

30 questions 40 min

Mastery Certification: WFM - Forecasting

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The WFM - Forecasting course is designed by call center experts to provide a practical and engaging learning experience. Start today.