Marketing Papers

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

8-2015

Publication Source

Journal of Business Research

Volume

68

Issue

8

Start Page

1717

Last Page

1731

DOI

10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.03.031

Abstract

This article proposes a unifying theory, or the Golden Rule, or forecasting. The Golden Rule of Forecasting is to be conservative. A conservative forecast is consistent with cumulative knowledge about the present and the past. To be conservative, forecasters must seek out and use all knowledge relevant to the problem, including knowledge of methods validated for the situation.

Twenty-eight guidelines are logically deduced from the Golden Rule. A review of evidence identified 105 papers with experimental comparisons; 102 support the guidelines. Ignoring a single guideline increased forecast error by more than two-fifths on average. Ignoring the Golden Rule is likely to harm accuracy most when the situation is uncertain and complex, and when bias is likely. Non-experts who use the Golden Rule can identify dubious forecasts quickly and inexpensively.

To date, ignorance of research findings, bias, sophisticated statistical procedures, and the proliferation of big data, have led forecasters to violate the Golden Rule. As a result, despite major advances in evidence-based forecasting methods, forecasting practice in many fields has failed to improve over the past half-century.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Originally published in Journal of Business Research © 2015 Elsevier

This is a pre-publication version. The final version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.03.031

Keywords

analytics, bias, big data, causality, checklists, combining, elections, index method, judgmental bootstrapping, structured analogies, uncertainty

Embargo Date

9-1-2018

Available for download on Saturday, September 01, 2018

Share

COinS
 

Date Posted: 15 June 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.