Working with Forecast

Forecast provides a comprehensive listing of U. S. and Canadian project starts – both historic data and the projected starts for the next 24 months. You can filter the data using a range of filters, including date range, US and Canadian location, category, and development type. Once you get the data you want, you export the data graph as an image and the data table in Excel format.

Note: See Understanding construction starts for information about the data in Forecast.

This section contains the following topics:  

   


Using menu options

The options on the main page let you export the data, save data views, select categories and access the construction industry reporting.  

Exporting the data

To export the data currently displayed in the window,

    • click Export and select either JPG (image file) or PDF (document file). Once compiled and formatted, you can download the file to your device.

Running a saved search

To run a saved Forecast search, 

    • click the search to run from the list in the Saved Searches menu on the upper-right side of the window.

Result: The search runs and the data in the window refreshes with the results. 

 Selecting the categories to view

The Category menu at the right side of the window displays the categories included in the data view: 

To select which data categories are used for filtering the data,

    • click on the category name in the menu to show or hide the category.  For more information about applying filters to the data, see Using the Filters menu.

Construction reporting

You can access the quarterly and monthly construction reports using the links below the graph: 

  

Working with the data graph

The data graph displays the project data by value and date range for each of the categories. You can adjust the date range directly on the graph or by using the Filters menu. For more information, see Using the Filters menu

When using the data graph,

  • the historical and forecast data is distinguished by different background shading: the historical data shading is lighter and on the left and forecast is shaded darker and on the right.
  • Using the Filters menu, you can change the display to only show historical data. 
  • each category is color coded to the Category legend on the right side of the window, as described above in Selecting the categories to view.

Selecting the dashboard data view

You can select to view the data on the dashboard as a bar or line graph, or percentage chart by clicking on the icon at the top of the section:

Moving from left to right, the options are: 

  • Bar chart
  • Line chart
  • Percentage bar chart

Viewing line details

Hovering over the pivot points of a line displays the year, category, and value for that segment of the line:

Understanding the data graph

The following table describes the different viewing options for the data graph.

OptionDescription
Line

The line view displays the data by value and date for each category:

Bar

The bar view displays each of the selected categories grouped together by year:

Percentage

The percentage with base year view displays the percentage change for each category from the selected base year:

 

Note: The base year is selected from the Filters menu.

Working with the data table 

The data table is below the data graph and displays project value by year according to the options selected in the Filters menu. You can select to match project value either by category or geography, see the percentage of value change over time, and export the data in an Excel spreadsheet.

The following table describes the features of the data table.

OptionDescription
Category view

The Category view displays project values according to the categories selected in the Filters menu:

  • Click to expand each category to see project values by location for that category.
Geography view

The Geography view displays project value by location:

  • Click to expand each location to see project values by category for that location.

    Note: When Subcategory is selected in the Category section of the Filters menu, both category and subcategory options are displayed.

Exporting the data

To export the data currently displayed in the table,

  • click Export at the top of the section.
  • Select to export the data as either a simple or formatted Excel spreadsheet. Once compiled and formatted, you can download the file to your device.
Showing change by percentageYou can show the percent change in project value year-over-year for the time period selected.

To show percentage change,

  • Select ON for Show Percentage Change.

 Using the Filters menu

The Filters menu on the left side of the window lets you refine the data using a variety of options, including date, geography, measurement, and development type. Each time you select a filtering option, the data in both the graphical view and the data table refresh with your selections:

Tip: You can also save any of your filter selections for future use. This lets you apply your own customized filtering to the data each time you log in to your account. For more information about this feature, see Working with your saved Forecast searches.

The following table describes the options you can select for using the Filters menu. 

OptionDescription
Data Set

You can select to include either historical data or both historical and forecast data in your results:

  • Historical - Includes only the actual starts data through the most recent, complete month. This data set is updated monthly.

Note: This selection changes the options in the following sections:

      • In the Period section, the option Monthly is available.
      • In the Development Type section,
        • the options Alteration and Additions / Alteration become available and
        • the option Renovation becomes unavailable.
  • Historical and Forecast - Includes both actual and forecast starts data through the most recent, complete quarter. This data set is updated quarterly.
Period

You can select from three time periods to filter data. Each selection can be further refined using the year slider bar in the menu.

  • Annual - Displays data by year.
  • Quarterly - Displays data by yearly calendar quarter.
  • Monthly - Displays data by months over the range of selected years. Note that this option is only available when the Data Set option is set to Historical or when the Measurement type is set to Projects.

You can also use the slider bar to further refine your results by year range on either end.

GeographyThe Geography filter lets you select data for either the USA or Canada.
  • To select the country, use the slider bar and select either USA or Canada

The following table describes your options for filtering the data by geography.

CountryOption
USA
National – Shows all of the data for country.
State

– To filter by state,

  • click Select Geographies and select the states
  • click apply selection.
MSA

– To filter by major Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA),

  • click Select Geographies and select the states
  • select the MSA for the states
  • click apply selection.
County

– To filter by the state county level,

  • click Select Geographies and select states and counties
  • click apply selection.
Canada
National –Shows all of the data for country.
Province

– To filter by province,

  • click Select Geographies and select the provinces
  • click apply selection.
CMA

– To filter by Census Metropolitan Area (CMA),

  • click Select Geographies and select the provinces
  • click apply selection.
CategoryThe Category filter lets you refine the data using selected categories. Note that the currently applied categories are displayed in the Category menu on the right side of the window.

To filter by category,

1
Select one of the following options:
  • Summary
  • Vertical
  • Subcategory
2

Click Select Categories and select from the filtering options, as described in the following table.

If the category is...Then you can filter by...
Summary
  • Civil
  • Non-residential
  • Residential

Note: Leaving the filtering options blank returns all available data for Summary.

Vertical
  • Civil
  • Commercial
  • Community
  • Educational
  • Government
  • Industrial
  • Medical
  • Retail
  • Residential

Note: Leaving the filtering options blank returns all the available data for Vertical.

Subcategorythe same top level options for Vertical above with the addition of sub-level categories.

Note: Leaving the filtering options blank returns all the available combined data for Vertical and Subcategory.

3
Once you have made your selections, click apply selection.

Result: The menu refreshes and the data matching your selection are displayed. Note that the Category menu on the left side of the window matches your category selection.

For information about toggling the categories on and off in the data table, see Selecting the categories to view.

Measurement

Select from one of the following measurements to filter the results.

ValueMeasurement
ValueFilters the results in millions of dollars in either U.S. or Canadian currency.
Sq. Ft.

Filters the results by the total project area in thousands of square feet.

Note: Only projects that include a square foot measurement are returned with this selection. For example, the categories Bridges and Roads do not have a square foot or unit value to report and are not represented.

ProjectsFilters by the number of projects that are included in historical starts. No forecast starts are included in this measurement type. Note that this automatically restricts the Data Set value to Historical
Units

For Canada historical data only, filters by the number of units included in those projects in the Residential category. No forecast starts are included in this measurement type. Note that this automatically restricts the Data Set value to Historical

Note: Multi-family residential units are comprised of the categories Town homes, Condominiums, and Apartments and are collected by the ConstructConnect Content Team. Single-family units are supplied by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).   

Development Type

Select from the type of projects to be displayed in the results depending on the value selected in the Data Set section.

If you selected the Data Set type...Then you can select the following for Development Type...
Historical
  • All
  • New
  • Addition
  • Alteration
  • Addition / Alteration
Historical and Forecast
  • All 
  • New and Addition
  • Renovation

Notes:

  • All - Includes all the available data in your results.
  • New - Includes only new project data in your results.
  • Renovation - Includes only projects for renovation in your results.
  • Only multi-family renovation data is available in Forecast.

Working with your saved Forecast searches

You can save, rename and run any of your filter sets as a saved Forecast search.

Saving your applied filters as a new Forecast search

To save your applied filters,

    • once you have the filter settings you want to save using the Filters menu, click Save Search.
    • In the Save Search menu, enter the name for the search and then click Save.

      ResultThe filter set is saved and is accessible as a search from the Saved Searches menu on the upper-right side of the window.

Loading a saved view

Loading a saved view applies previously saved filters to the current search results.

To load a saved view,

    • click Saved Searches at the top of the menu and then select the saved search you want to use.

Result: The window refreshes with the results. 

Renaming saved views

To rename a saved view,

    • load a saved view in the window and make your changes to how the data is filtered.
    • Click Save Search > Save As.
    • In the Save Search menu, enter the name for the view and then click Save.

      Result: The filter is saved with your changes.