Preview: Foresight, Spring 2016

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Preview: Foresight, Spring 2016

Len Tashman, Editor, previews the Spring issue of Foresight

Misbehaving, the feature section of this 41st issue of Foresight, was prompted by the publication of Richard Thaler’s eye-opening book of the same title, a work that explains the often surprising gap between (a) the models we use and organizational policies derived from them, and (b) the outcomes we just didn’t expect. Models assume that economic actors (owner, managers, consumers) behave rationally, working purposefully toward a clearly defined goal. But actors misbehave, their actions sidetracked by seemingly irrelevant factors, and their self-serving interests can undermine organizational efforts.

Our examination of misbehaving begins with my review of Thaler’s book and description of the potential insights for the forecasting profession. The review is followed by some brief reflections from Foresight’s editors on the problems of misbehaving in their particular branches of our field and what we can hope to do about these misbehaviors.

  • Paul Goodwin, Hot New Research Editor, discusses Misbehaving Agents, those organization forecasters and planners who subvert organizational goals.
  • Roy Batchelor, Financial Forecasting Editor, examines Misbehavior in Forecasting Financial Markets.
  • John Mello, Supply Chain Forecasting Editor, describes policies for Eliminating Sales-Forecasting Misbehavior.
  • Lastly, Fotios Petropoulos, FSS Forecasting Editor, and colleague Kostas Nikolopoulos reveal Misbehaving, Misdesigning, and Miscommunicating in our forecasting support systems.

Although not usually described as misbehaving, overreliance on spreadsheets as forecasting support tools has been a continuing problem. Henry Canitz takes companies to task for use of primitive tools in Overcoming Barriers to Improving Forecasting Capabilities. And Nari Viswanathan comments on the limitations of traditional S&OP technology tools.

Continuing a series of articles on forecast-accuracy metrics, Steve Morlidge proposes several creative graphical and tabular displays for Using Error Analysis to Improve Forecast Performance.

Our Forecaster in the Field interview is with Mark Blessington, noted sales-forecasting author, whose article “Sales Quota Accuracy and Forecasting” appeared in our Winter 2016 issue.

Wrapping up the Spring 2016 issue is the first in a series of commentaries examining the gap between forecasting research and forecasting practice. In Forecasting: Academia vs. Business, Sujit Singh argues that while much research has been devoted to the statistical and behavioral basis of forecasting as well as to the application of big data, missing is research relevant to business performance. By measuring the benefits of good forecasting, this type of research can provide the most value to the business user.

REGISTRATION has begun for the 2016 Foresight Practitioner Conference, Worst Practices in Forecasting: Today’s Mistakes to Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs, which will be held October 5-6 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh in partnership with their Institute for Advanced Analytics. See the conference announcement on the last page of this issue – and take advantage of the very generous registration fees for Foresight readers who sign up early! The online link is

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By |March 28th, 2016|Forecasting News|