New Thinking

Anticipating the future clarifies thinking

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The value of accurate predictions is unquestionable, though knowing in advance exactly what will happen in any given circumstance remains an elusive, if not many times impossible, goal. However, businesses that learn how to use the discipline of predictive modeling enjoy a number of competitive advantages, including faster time to market and greater operational efficiency. And with access to massive, varied sets of data, the accuracy (and value) of these predictive capabilities is on the rise.

There is hidden value in making business predictions that many executives have yet to consider. Some find that the act of forecasting alone can have a clarifying effect on the decision-making process within an organization. Like scenario planning, it keeps the organization looking forward yet analytical prediction also offers the quantified grounding to keep things specific. It forces companies to examine how and why they make decisions, and develop contingencies for unexpected (yet often probabilistic and quantifiable) changes. And by complementing personal experience and instinct in strategy and planning, it adds rigor and pragmatism to what otherwise can be a subjective exercise.

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