Thursday, September 20, 2007

Competitive Forecasting Provides Better Results Than Surveys

Competitive forecasting, a new trend discussed in James Surowiecki’s book, “The Wisdom the Crowds”, has become a popular method of surveying the public, and the Sloan Center has jumped on the bandwagon. The first to broadly study Internet sales, The Sloan Center will launch a new Web site that will take the public’s predictions about internet-related trends and online sales.

In The New York Times article, “The Wisdom of Sales Trend Predictions”, Bob Tedeschi calls attention to the advantages competitive forecasting provides over traditional surveys. According to analysts, this method brings more accurate results because participants care more about their answers. One of the best known examples is The Hollywood Stock Exchange (, which has correctly predicted 92% of the major-category Oscar winners.

Competitive forecasting is also more appealing to participants than typical phone surveys.

Donna Hoffman and Thomas P. Novak, directors of the Sloan Center, will offer cash rewards like $25 and $500 gift certificates to the top-ranked participants of their site. The most prescient users also have an opportunity to gain an admirable online reputation.

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