This 54th edition of Foresight features an important new take on the role of judgment in the forecasting process. Normally, we see judgment applied to adjust a statistical forecast or supply a forecast directly. But here Fotios Petropoulos proposes a major role for judgment in the model-building process, providing cogent evidence for greater user involvement in selecting a forecasting model. We have entitled his article Judgmental Model Selection, along with four commentaries.
A new book—Data Science for (the) Supply Chain Forecast—by Nicolas Vandeput offers a broad introduction to the application of machine-learning techniques to business forecasting. Reviewer Shaun Snapp believes the book effectively prompts the reader to begin performing “data science.”
Our Forecasting Methods Tutorial in this issue is an as “user friendly as possible” description of the State Space Framework for forecasting, which has long been in the statistician’s tool kit but inaccessible to practitioners. In State Space Modeling for Practitioners, Diego Pedregal provides a comprehensive overview of the software available and gives recommendations on what may best serve different types of users.
Our sister publication The International Journal of Forecasting presented a feature section earlier this year on prediction markets and their efficacy for business forecasting. Here, Thomas Wolfram summarizes the findings reported in the IJF but expands upon the Benefits and Challenges of Corporate Prediction Markets. He suggests that Big Data may be a more productive avenue for business forecasters to pursue.
Our section on Forecasting Practice includes two articles of a complementary nature. First, Chris Gray does a soul search into Why Is It So Hard to Hold Anyone Accountable for the Sales Forecast? This article offers “reality therapy” to the forecasting methodologist, uncovering the multitude of voices (and excuses) that may be heard before a final forecast is reached.
Picking up on the final step of the forecasting process, Alec Finney argues that the forecaster’s responsibility is much more than presentation of the numbers in Communicating the Forecast: Providing Decision Makers with Insights.
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* Check out our new Foresight Guidebook, Forecast Accuracy Measurement: Pitfalls to Avoid and Practices to Adopt (2018), which offers a compendium of discussions on the subject by 15 authors. Members receive a 50% discount on guidebooks.