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Business forecasting: use your own judgement


All businesses must operate within societies which are rife with predictions on every side.

The predictions, on everything from the year-end level of the stock market to the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, are produced by pundits. Some of them are organised into Think Tanks of one kind or another, some are professional commentators in the media, some are colleagues and competitors, and so on. But how good are their predictions? And is one type or set of pundits more reliable than others?

Don’t waste your time on trying to find answers. There aren’t any. A new book by Philip Tetlock is entitled ‘Expert Political Judgment: How good is it?’ How can we know? It is based on 20 years of study of 284 people who make money from ‘commenting or offering advice on political and economic trends’. He wanted answers to questions that we should all ask ourselves, but hardly ever do. Like:

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