How forecasting works

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When you check available inventory, Ad Manager analyzes the line item for which you’re running a forecast against competing booked line items. Ad Manager looks at the last 24 months or more of unsampled historical traffic volume data as a basis to build and predict future traffic volumes. We look at ad characteristics from the more recent past to reflect settings such as frequency capping. We also consider seasonal trends in our calculations.

Using these predictions, Ad Manager runs a simulation for the line item to be forecasted. The output of the simulation shows how many impressions are available for booking and how many matched the targeting of the line item.

Because our analysis of the recent past is important to get an accurate forecast, we recommend waiting 28 days after adding ad units, ad sizes, key-values, etc., before you look at forecasting numbers.

Lowered line item priority

Ad Manager:

  1. Looks at the existing state of the network.
  2. Runs a simulation for the line item to be forecasted:
    • As part of the simulation, Ad Manager first places the line item at a priority lower than the other line items in the network. This artificially lowered priority means that the forecasted line item isn't able to “steal” impressions from other line items.
    • Next, Ad Manager runs with the forecasted line item at its given priority.
  3. Analyzes the simulation results to get the estimated forecasting impressions.
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