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Apr 2019

Even in the era of deep learning, statistical models still play a role in business decision support. Time series models are widely used to forecast inventories, demand, customer traffic, and so on. Hand-crafting these models so that they're robust and flexible has typically been the role of either specialized statisticians or large commercial software vendors. Prophet is an open-source alternative to commercial forecasting packages that can be programmed in R or Python. Facebook claims to use Prophet internally for business forecasting at scale and has made it available as an open-source package for anyone to use. We like that Prophet removes some of the tedium of model construction, maintenance and data manipulation so that human analysts and subject matter experts can focus on doing what they do best.