‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’?
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Will the future really be just like the past — like French 19th century novelist Alphonse Karr stated? All predictive technologies used for forecasting are based on such an assumption. This may be a fundamental mistake. Rather than developing increasingly sophisticated methods for predicting the future, it may be a better strategy to develop more responsive businesses.
Back in 2010, I published the book ‘Future Ready: How to Master Business Forecasting’. Although it has only been seven years since, in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago. I am fortunate to be invited to speak at many business conferences, typically hosted by software companies. This gives me a privileged position to observe the ebbs and flows in business thinking. First I spoke at conferences with the theme ‘Predictive Analytics’. Then it was ‘Big Data’. Now ‘Machine Learning’ is the concept du jour. The question I am asked — and I often ask myself — is: to what extent do those technologies fundamentally change the...
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