This week Nate Silver, renowned election forecaster (fivethirtyeight blog) and top selling author (of the excellent The Signal and the Noise), spoke at an event here in my building on the SAS campus. Unfortunately, I wasn't considered a B enough of a FD to land an invite to Nate's presentation. However, I will provide links to the recording of his comments when they become available.
SAS / Foresight Webinar Series
April 24 marks the debut of the new SAS/Foresight webinar series, produced by SAS along with Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting. On that date Paul Goodwin, Professor of Management Science at the University of Bath and a regular columnist in Foresight, will speak on his recent article "Why Should I Trust Your Forecasts?" The webinar begins at 11am EDT and will be recorded for later on-demand review. Registration is free.
Goodwin's article (co-authored with M. Sinan Gönül and Dilek Önkal) examines factors that can build (or impede) trust in forecasting. Foremost, we should expect the forecast to be a "competent and honest expectation" of future demand (or whatever else it is we are trying to forecast).
The Determinants of Trust
The authors identify several "determinants of trust" that Goodwin will discuss in his webinar. These include:
- Perception of the goodwill of the forecast provider
- Perceived competence or ability of the forecast provider
- Providing an explanation of the forecast
One benefit of increased trust in a forecast is a reduced tendency to make adjustments. Manual adjustments consume management time (that might be spent on more productive activities), and may contaminate a forecast with biases and personal agendas.
Note, of course, that trust should not be confused with accuracy. A trustworthy forecast, meeting all of Goodwin's guidelines, is not necessarily going to be accurate. (Inaccuracy may be due to chance, or because the phenomena (e.g. product sales) may not be forecastable to the degree of accuracy desired.)
Look for additional installments of the SAS / Foresight webinar series about once a quarter. Topics and registration links will be provided here on The BFD.