Making Progress in Forecasting
15 Pages Posted: 23 May 2007 Last revised: 30 Dec 2011
Twenty-five years ago, the International Institute of Forecasters was established "to bridge the gap between theory and practice." Its primary vehicle was the Journal of Forecasting and is now the International Journal of Forecasting. The Institute emphasizes empirical comparisons of reasonable forecasting approaches. Such studies can be used to identify the best forecasting procedures to use under given conditions, a process we call evidence-based forecasting. Unfortunately, evidence-based forecasting meets resistance from academics and practitioners when the findings differ from currently accepted beliefs. As a consequence, although much progress has been made in developing improved forecasting methods, the diffusion of useful forecasting methods has been disappointing. To bridge the gap between theory and practice, we recommend a stronger emphasis on the method of multiple hypotheses and on invited replications of important research. It is then necessary to translate the findings into principles that are easy to understand and apply. The Internet and software provide important opportunities for making the latest findings available to researchers and practitioners. Because researchers and practitioners believe that their areas are unique, we should organize findings so that they are relevant to each area and make them easily available when people search for information about forecasting in their area. Organisational barriers to change still remain to be overcome. Research into the specific issues faced when forecasting remains a priority.
Keywords: Barriers to implementation, Evidence-based forecasting, forecasting practice, forecasting software, freeware, replication
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