Time series analysis: definition, types, techniques and when to use them (2023)

Since we started collecting data, time is of the essence. In time series analysis, time is an important data variable. Time series analysis helps us study our world and learn how we are progressing in it.

In this article, we cover the following points for time series analysis:

  1. Definition
  2. Because it is used?
  3. examples
  4. The type
  5. models and techniques
  6. Books
  7. Analysis of Time Series and R

    What is time series analysis?

    Time series analysis: definition, types, techniques and when to use them (1)

    Time series analysis is a specialized method for analyzing a sequence of data points collected over a period of time. In time series analysis, analysts record data points at constant intervals over a period of time, rather than recording data points intermittently or randomly. However, this type of analysis is not just about collecting data over time.

    What distinguishes time series data from other data is that the analysis can show how variables change over time. In other words, time is a crucial variable as it shows how the data fits the data points as well as the final results. It provides an additional source of information and a defined order of dependencies between data.

    Time series analysis often requires a large number of data points to ensure consistency and reliability. A large data set ensures that you have a representative sample size and that your analysis can remove noisy data. It also ensures that the trends or patterns discovered are not outliers and can explain seasonal variations. Additionally, time series data can be used for forecasting, that is, predicting future data based on historical data.

      Why Companies Use Time Series Data Analysis

      Time series analysis helps organizations understand the underlying causes of systemic trends or patterns over time. Using data visualizations, business users can identify seasonal trends and break down why those trends occur. With modern analysis platformsThese visualizations can go far beyond line charts..

      If organizations analyze the data regularly, they can also usetime series forecastingto predict the probability of future events. Time series forecasting is part ofpredictive analytics. It can indicate probable changes in the data, e.g. B. seasonality or cyclical behavior, which allows you to better understand data variables and make better predictions.

      For example,Des Moines Public Schools analyzed five years of student performance datato identify students at risk and track progress over time. Today's technology allows us to collect massive amounts of data every day, and it's easier than ever to collect enough consistent data for a comprehensive analysis.

      Read more examples of how to use time series analysis here.

        Examples of Time Series Analysis

        Time series analysis: definition, types, techniques and when to use them (2)

        Time series analysis is used for non-stationary data, things that constantly fluctuate over time or are affected by time. Industries like finance, retail, and economics often use time series analysis because currencies and sales are constantly changing. Stock market analysis is an excellent example of time series analysis in action, especially with automated trading algorithms. Similarly, time series analysis is ideal for predicting climate change, as it helps meteorologists predict everything from tomorrow's weather report to future years of climate change. Examples of time series analysis in action are:

        • weather data
        • precipitation measurements
        • temperature measurements
        • Heart rate monitoring (ECG)
        • monitoreo cerebral (EEG)
        • quarterly sales
        • stock prices
        • Automated stock trading
        • industry forecasts
        • zinc index

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        Types of Time Series Analysis

        Because time series analysis involves many categories or variations of data, analysts sometimes need to create complex models. However, analysts cannot account for all variance and cannot generalize a given model to every sample. Models that are too complex or try to do too many things can result in a mismatch. Poor or overfitting models cause these models to fail to distinguish between random errors and true relationships, biasing the analysis and leaving predictions incorrect.

        Time series analysis models include:

        • Classification:Identifies and assigns categories to data.
        • Adjustment Curve:Plots data along a curve to examine the relationships of variables within the data.
        • Descriptive analysis:Identifies patterns in time series data, such as trends, cycles, or seasonal variations.
        • Explanatory analysis:Try to understand the data and the connections within it, as well as cause and effect.
        • Exploratory analysis:Highlights the key features of the time series data, usually in a visual format.
        • Forecast:Predict future dates. This rate is based on historical trends. It uses historical data as a template for future data and forecasts scenarios that could play out at future plot points.
        • Intervention Analysis:Investigate how an event can change the data.
        • Segmentation:Breaks the data into segments to display the underlying properties of the source information.

        Time series analysis: definition, types, techniques and when to use them (3)

        data classification

        Furthermore, time series data can be divided into two main categories:

        • inventory time series datait means measuring attributes at a given point in time as a static snapshot of the information as it was.
        • Stream time series datait means measuring the activity of the attributes during a certain period of time, which is usually part of the whole and explains part of the results.

        data variations

        In time series data, there may be sporadic discrepancies between the data:

        • Functional analysisYou can spot patterns and relationships within data to identify notable events.
        • Trend analysismeans for determining a consistent movement in a specific direction. There are two types of trends: deterministic, where we can find the underlying cause, and stochastic, which are random and unexplained.
        • seasonal differencesdescribes events that occur at regular and specific intervals over the course of a year. Serial dependency occurs when data points that are close in time tend to be related.

        Time series analysis and forecasting models should define the relevant data types to answer the business question. Once analysts have selected the relevant data they want to analyze, they decide which types of analysis and techniques are most appropriate.

        Important Considerations for Time Series Analysis

        Although time series data is data collected over time, there are different types of data that describe how and when that time data was recorded. For example:

        • time series dataare data recorded at consistent time intervals.
        • cross-sectional dataconsists of several variables registered simultaneously.
        • grouped datait is a combination of time series data and cross-sectional data.

        Time series analysis models and techniques

        Just as there are many types and models, there are also a variety of ways to explore data. Here are the three most common.

        • Box-Jenkins ARIMA Models:These univariate models are used to model a single time-dependent variable, such as B.Temperature over time, to better understand and predict future variable data points. These models work under the assumption that the data is stationary. Analysts should account for and remove as many differences and seasonalities in past data points as possible. Fortunately, the ARIMA model includes terms to account for moving averages, seasonal difference operators, and autoregressive terms within the model.
        • Multivariate Box-Jenkins-Modelle:Multivariate models are used to measure more than one time-dependent variable, such as B. Temperature and humidity to analyze over time.
        • Holt-Winters method:The Holt-Winters method is an exponential smoothing technique. It is designed to predict results as long as the data points include seasonality.

        Books on time series analysis

        Time series analysis is not a new study, although technology makes it easier to access. Many of the recommended texts, which convey the fundamental theories and practices of the subject, have been around for decades. And the method itself is even older. We have been using time series analysis for thousands of years, dating back to ancient studies of planetary motion and navigation.

        Because of this, there are thousands of study books and some are old and out of date. That is why we have created a list of the best books on time series analysis. These are a mix of textbooks and reference books and are good for beginners and experts. In these books you will find theory, examples, practical cases, practices and much more.

        Learn more about our best books on time series analysis.

        Analysis of Time Series and R

        The open source programming language and R environment can perform common time series analysis functions, such as graphing, with just a few keystrokes. The more complex functions consist of finding seasonal values ​​or anomalies. Time series analysis in Python is also popular for finding trends and forecasts.

        Time series analysis is a solid technical subject, and this guide only scratches the surface. For more information on theories and practical applications, see ourTime series analysis and customer story features.

        additional resources

        Forecasting with time series data

        read now

        Predictive Analytics: Become a proactive organization with informed predictions

        read now


        What are the 4 methods for time series analysis? ›

        The four variations to time series are (1) Seasonal variations (2) Trend variations (3) Cyclical variations, and (4) Random variations. Time Series Analysis is used to determine a good model that can be used to forecast business metrics such as stock market price, sales, turnover, and more.

        Which is commonly used technique for time series analysis? ›

        The commonly used time series method is the Moving Average. This method is slick with random short-term variations. Relatively associated with the components of time series. The Moving Average (MA) (or) Rolling Mean: The value of MA is calculated by taking average data of the time-series within k periods.

        What are the four 4 main components of a time series? ›

        Here are the 4 major components:
        • Trend component.
        • Seasonal component.
        • Cyclical component.
        • Irregular component.
        Nov 9, 2021

        What is time series analysis and what is its use and explain with its components? ›

        A time series is a collection of observations of well-defined data items obtained through repeated measurements over time. For example, measuring the value of retail sales each month of the year would comprise a time series.

        What are the 5 time series forecasting methods? ›

        Times series methods refer to different ways to measure timed data. Common types include: Autoregression (AR), Moving Average (MA), Autoregressive Moving Average (ARMA), Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA), and Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving-Average (SARIMA).

        What are the different types of time series models? ›

        The three main types of time series models are moving average, exponential smoothing, and ARIMA.

        What are the two major approaches to time series analysis? ›

        Two broad approaches have been developed for modeling time series data, the time-domain approach, and the frequency-domain approach.

        What are the most used time series algorithms? ›

        Top 5 Common Time Series Forecasting Algorithms
        • Autoregressive (AR)
        • Moving Average (MA)
        • Autoregressive Moving Average (ARMA)
        • Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA)
        • Exponential Smoothing (ES)

        What are the major components of time series analysis? ›

        The four components of time series are as follows:
        • Trend.
        • Seasonal Variations.
        • Cyclic Variations.
        • Random or Irregular movements.

        What is basic time series analysis? ›

        Time-series analysis is a method of analyzing a collection of data points over a period of time. Instead of recording data points intermittently or randomly, time series analysts record data points at consistent intervals over a set period of time.

        Why do we need time series analysis? ›

        Time series data means that data is in a series of particular time periods or intervals. This analysis helps organizations understand the underlying causes of trends or systemic patterns over time. Using data visualizations, business users can see seasonal trends and dig deeper into why these trends occur.

        What are the 4 components of statistics? ›

        Consider statistics as a problem-solving process and examine its four components: asking questions, collecting appropriate data, analyzing the data, and interpreting the results.

        What are the components of time series analysis with examples? ›

        Components of Time Series Analysis
        • Trend.
        • Seasonal Variations.
        • Cyclical Variations.
        • Random or Irregular Movements.
        Apr 15, 2022

        What are the 3 key characteristics of time series data? ›

        Characteristics of time series
        • Trends.
        • Seasonal and nonseasonal cycles.
        • Pulses and steps.
        • Outliers.

        What are the three types of time series patterns? ›

        There are three types of time series patterns: trend, seasonal, and cyclic.

        What are 3 popular forecasting techniques? ›

        Top Forecasting Methods
        1. Straight lineConstant growth rate
        2. Moving averageRepeated forecasts
        3. Simple linear regressionCompare one independent with one dependent variable
        4. Multiple linear regressionCompare more than one independent variable with one dependent variable
        Mar 4, 2023

        What is the time series technique? ›

        Time series forecasting is a technique for predicting future events by analyzing past trends, based on the assumption that future trends will hold similar to historical trends.

        What is the best method for time series forecasting? ›

        There are two main approaches to time series forecasting – statistical approaches and neural network models. The most popular statistical method for time series forecasting is the ARIMA (Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average) family with AR, MA, ARMA, ARIMA, ARIMAX, and SARIMAX methods.

        What are the different types of forecasting techniques? ›

        There are three basic types—qualitative techniques, time series analysis and projection, and causal models.

        What are the simplest time series models? ›

        The time series forecasting models can be broadly classified into Simple Models (Mean Model, Linear Trend Model, Random Walk Model) , Average and Smoothing Models (Moving Average, Exponential Smoothing) , Linear Regression Models , ARIMA Models.

        How many models are there in time series analysis? ›

        Models for time series data can have many forms and represent different stochastic processes. When modeling variations in the level of a process, three broad classes of practical importance are the autoregressive (AR) models, the integrated (I) models, and the moving average (MA) models.

        What are the types of time series methods used for forecasting explain? ›

        Time-series forecasting models are used to predict future values of time-series data. In this blog post, we discussed different types of time-series forecasting models such as AR, MA, ARMA, ARIMA, the SARIMA model, the vector autoregressive (VAR) model, and the vector error correction model (VECM).

        Which algorithm is best for prediction? ›

        Regression and classification algorithms are the most popular options for predicting values, identifying similarities, and discovering unusual data patterns.

        What are the assumptions of time series? ›

        In time series analysis, the assumption of stationary data refers to the idea that the statistical properties of a time series do not change over time. More specifically, a stationary time series is one in which the mean, variance, and autocorrelation structure are constant over time.

        What are the two models of time series? ›

        Two of the most common models in time series are the Autoregressive (AR) models and the Moving Average (MA) models.

        What are the limitations of time series analysis? ›

        It can suffer from generalization from a single study where more data points and models were warranted. Human error could misidentify the correct data model, which can have a snowballing effect on the output. It could also be difficult to obtain the appropriate data points.

        What are the limitations of time series? ›

        Time series analysis also suffers from a number of weaknesses, including problems with generalization from a single study, difficulty in obtaining appropriate measures, and problems with accurately identifying the correct model to represent the data.

        What are the strengths and weaknesses of time series design? ›

        The strength of the time series models discussed here is in their ability to detect, analyze, and explain complex temporal processes. Their main weakness is in their lack of a model for generalizability across cases.

        What are the five 5 basic concepts of statistic? ›

        The five words population, sample, parameter, statistic (singular), and variable form the basic vocabulary of statistics. You cannot learn much about statistics unless you first learn the meanings of these five words.

        What are the 6 types of statistics? ›

        The different types of data analysis include descriptive, exploratory, inferential, predictive, causal and mechanistic. Here's what you need to know about each one.

        What are the 5 types of statistics? ›

        Types of Statistics in Maths
        • Measure of frequency.
        • Measure of dispersion.
        • Measure of central tendency.
        • Measure of position.

        What is an example of time series data? ›

        A typical example of time-series data is stock prices or a stock market index. However, even if you're not into financial and algorithmic trading, you probably interact daily with time-series data.

        What are the different component of time series? ›

        Seasonal variations are changes in time series that occur in the short term, usually within less than 12 months. They usually show the same pattern of upward or downward growth in the 12-month period of the time series. These variations are often recorded as hourly, daily, weekly, quarterly, and monthly schedules.

        What is a component of a time series quizlet? ›

        Four components of a time series. Long term trend. Cyclical effect. Seasonal effect. Random variation.

        What are the random components of the time series? ›

        Irregular Fluctuations

        These are sudden changes occurring in a time series which are unlikely to be repeated. They are components of a time series which cannot be explained by trends, seasonal or cyclic movements. These variations are sometimes called residual or random components.

        What are four 4 ways statistical data can be collected? ›

        In this article, we will look at four different data collection techniques – observation, questionnaire, interview and focus group discussion – and evaluate their suitability under different circumstances.

        What are the 5 basic definitions of statistics? ›

        Statistics is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data. In other words, it is a mathematical discipline to collect, summarize data. Also, we can say that statistics is a branch of applied mathematics.

        What are the uses of time series? ›

        A time series is a data set that tracks a sample over time. In particular, a time series allows one to see what factors influence certain variables from period to period. Time series analysis can be useful to see how a given asset, security, or economic variable changes over time.

        Which one is not a component of the time series? ›

        variance is NOT a time series component, it refers to the spread of a data set.

        What are the four components of time series data quizlet? ›

        A single time series can consist of all four different components: trend, horizontal variation, seasonal variation, and random/irregular variation.

        What are the three major types of forecasting used in planning future operations? ›

        With respect to these, organizations use three major types of forecasting in planning the future of their operations. These are, economic, technological and demand forecasting.

        Which time series component is the most difficult to predict? ›

        The seasonal component of a time series is more difficult to predict than the cyclic component because cyclic variation is much more regular. You will always get more accurate forecasts by using more complex forecasting methods.

        Which component of a time series typically occurs over multiple years? ›

        The trend is the long term pattern of a time series.

        What is a time series graph called? ›

        An arithmetic line graph is called as a time-series graph as it is used to represent time-series data.

        What is the characteristic feature of a time series data? ›

        When plotted, many time series exhibit one or more of the following features: Trends. Seasonal and nonseasonal cycles. Pulses and steps.


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