Masterclass explores technology forecasting

Industry analysts, and those who want to understand them, should know about the annual Foresight course at PREST (Policy Research in Engineering, Science and Technology), part of Manchester Business School. Foresight stresses the scanning, scenario development and evaluation needed in forecasting technology.

Lighthouse is keen to develop understanding of methodology on both sides of the analyst industry. Our view is that forecasting for technology markets is filled with mishaps, and that the most effective results come from scenario-based forecasting. In a previous post we discussed the frequency of megamistakes, and also recommended some courses in the UK and US. We also have seen others with similar views, and translated an important article on ICT numbers by Berlecon analyst Andreas Stiehler.

We think that large analyst relations teams can also benefit from better understanding the methods used for technology forecasting. Many vendors have unrealistic expectations about the possible accuracy of forecasts, as if analysts’ forecasts could reasonably expected to be qualitatively more accurate than the odds at the bookmakers. This seminar will help attendees to develop forecasts, to evaluate them and to understand what forecasting can — and cannot do.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As the head of CCgroup's analyst relations team, Chapple directs programs that increase the value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.

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  1. September 07, 2008, 9:44 am

    […] Of course some analysts do forecast, but there are different sorts of analysts. You can’t easily generalise about their research methods. Efrem Mallach  explained this very well in his paper Get Ahead of Analysts: the four business modes of industry analysts (available here).There are some buyers of analysts’ services who want forecasts and reports of what’s news more than anything else: vendors. Vendors’ thirst for numbers pressures analysts into bad quantitative forecasts. Both vendors and analysts need more honesty about how accurate forecasting can be, and that’s why we favour scenario-based research.  […]

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