Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Forecasting The Markets by Managing the Data Monster

Accurate forecasting data is paramount to successfully trending the market and creating strategic advantages. A paper by Bill Stringer discusses the use of big data programs and how this influences the success of the chemical industry. For the purposes of my own research, I am considering the merits of big data in proper market forecasting. 

Big data can uncover information that is not easy to find or discern. The relationship between the data pieces offers an opportunity to find trends and information that is not contained in standalone measurements.  When organizations use big data well they can more accurately assess performance and variability to meet market trends. 

The author believes that big data is the next frontier of nearly every economic sector. Companies will find ways to appropriately analyze large and complex data sets in both the private and public arenas. The ability to harness the data monster will allow for greater waves of growth, productivity and innovation. 

Most of the world’s electronic data has been generated in the past few years and executives have yet to come to grips with the virtual world. As organizations get better at analytics they will be able to make more informed decisions. Using data to create better pricing strategies helps in providing greater profitability.

Market forecasting is complex and often relies on experience and the overall feeling of the analyst. This makes traditional methods relatively inaccurate. Larger data can afford the possibility of finding future demand and trends in order to encourage higher levels of organizational growth. 

The paper targets Dow as a primary big data leader. In fostering their growth they recruited 10 PhDs in computer sciences and supported them by a team of advanced analytic experts that mesh their skills with a business intelligence team. Their success is based on a number of important factors:

-Improved accuracy of forecasting. 
-Early indications of targets to correct actions.
-Cost and exchange rate analysis that offers better purchasing of materials.
-Greater staffing abilities that offer better skill levels at the times they are needed. 

The author indicates that data can be drawn from a number of important sources that include social networking and publically available data. Companies can use this data to make a better environmental scan and then incorporate that information to encourage stronger decision making. As companies improve in their ability to forecast the market, they will be able to stay ahead of market trends. 

The report highlights a few important issues. If we think about how public information encourages or discourages business decisions we will find that in general available pubic data is helpful. The problem is that many cities and states don’t have enough information to encourage investment and reduce risk. Offering better data, even if not analyzed, will allow for greater transparency as well as resources for public consumption for strategic decision making. 

Philinkiene, V. (2008). Competitive market demand: the conception and types in the context of forecasting. Economics & Management.

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