At the recent International Symposium of Forecasting in Riverside, Scott Armstrong and Kesten Green presented three papers illustrating the effects of simplicity and conservatism in forecasting. In one example, with Andreas Graefe, they described applying three Golden Rule checklist items to improving eight established election forecasting models. Their resulting simple model reduced forecast error by 45% compared to the original models. To see the slides for their papers, visit the pages at goldenruleofforecasting.com and simple-forecasting.com, and scroll down.

The 19 papers of the Special Issue of the Journal of Business Research guest edited by Kesten Green and Scott Armstrong and devoted to evidence on the effect of simplicity versus complexity in forecasting are now available online. We have provided a Table of Contents for the Special Issue, with links to the papers. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that the ordering of our table of contents is at odds with page number order. A miss-step in the production process saw the editors' logical ordering of the papers ignored. We have used the editors' intended order in our Table of Contents, available from the Papers Page. Please tell your colleagues about this important Special Issue; one that is relevant to all forecasting researchers and practitioners. 

Frequent visitors to ForPrin.com may have noticed that the Forecasting Methodology Tree and the Forecasting Method Selection Tree have changed. Earlier this year, we replaced the Trees with versions that better represent the current state of forecasting knowledge. Since then, we have been fixing and revising the pop-up windows so that they are consistent with the new Trees. The Trees remain a work in progress--we will continue to improve the pop-up descriptions and add relevant links--so please let us know if you spot any problems or have any suggestions for improvements. See the links to the new Trees in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Alain Elkann interviews famous people, iconic people. The three listed in his interview directory under the letter B, for example, are Ban Ki-Moon, Bianca Jagger, and Brigitte Bardot. During his current visit to the University of Pennsylvania, Alain recently interviewed co-founder of the International Institute of Forecasters, International Journal of Forecasting, and International Symposium of Forecasting, J. Scott Armstrong.

Curious about what led Scott to so many contrarian conclusions, Alain interviewed him about his life as a scientific skeptic. Naturally, the interview revolved around Scott's forecasting research. As a consequence of the interview, the discipline of forecasting is now aligned with the stars. The interview is currently the Most Read.

The Alain Elkann Interview with Scott was also published in the Italian newspaper La Stampa on Sunday, April 12, 2015. Alain was alerted to Scott's contributions to forecasting by a list of the 25 Most Famous College Professors Teaching Today.

The Lancaster Centre for Forecasting is running a survey to gain insights into what drives the improvement of forecast quality in practice. Click here to take the survey.

The research is not for commercial purposes and all responses are strictly confidential. That means there will be no results reported/discussed/etc. at an individual company or respondent level. The survey will take about 5 minutes depending on how much information-sharing you provide.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Principle of the day:

14.6-Describe reasons why the forecasts might be wrong

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