How Trend Forecasters Work


Lots More Information

Author's Note: How Trend Forecasters Work

Trend forecasting is a bit like the Force. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds us together. It controls our actions, but also obeys our commands. Fashion forecasters channel current trends, or exert so much influence on the industry that they help push their predictions to fruition. Economic forecasters influence stock prices, but stock market behavior feeds back into the economy. Markets rise and fall based on investor confidence, which is not nearly as rational as we would prefer.

And then there's big data, with its big algorithms, ginned up with little clarity and less transparency. It, too, threatens to define the very aspects of our lives that it purports to predict, but with much direr consequences. That's a trend we might want to get out ahead of.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Appelbaum, Binyamin. "Humans Can Be Irrational, and Other Economic Insights: 'The Map and the Territory' by Alan Greenspan." The New York Times. Oct. 20, 2013. (Jan. 19, 2015) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/books/the-map-and-the-territory-by-alan-greenspan.html?_r=0
  • Auerbach, David. "The Code We Can't Control." Slate. Jan. 14, 2015. (Jan. 19, 2015) http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2015/01/black_box_society_by_frank_pasquale_a_chilling_vision_of_how_big_data_has.html
  • Barnett, Emma. "Trend-spotting is the New £36bn Growth Business." The Telegraph (U.K.). May 1, 2011. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/8482964/Trend-spotting-is-the-new-36bn-growth-business.html
  • Berelovich, Lily. President and chief creative officer at Fashion Snoops (http://www.fashionsnoops.com). Personal correspondence. Jan. 7, 2015.
  • Blair, Elizabeth. "Forecasting Fashion Trends." NPR. Sept. 17, 2003. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1432978
  • Blumenthal, Larry. Chief financial officer at Good Night Pediatrics (http://www.goodnightpeds.com). Personal correspondence. Jan. 7, 2015.
  • Brekke, Harald. Associate director, senior trend researcher and architect at Kjaer Global (http://www.kjaer-global.com). Personal correspondence. Jan. 7, 2015.
  • Grant, Tim. "Financial Crisis Predicted for 2030s." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Nov. 4, 2014. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://investing.businessweek.com/research/markets/news/article.asp?docKey=600-201411040807KRTRIB__BUSNEWS_25880_16917-1
  • Indeed.com. "Trend Forecasting Salary." Jan 13, 2015. (Jan 13, 2015) http://www.indeed.com/salary/Trend-Forecasting.html
  • Jolivet, Elodie. Products marketing and communication manager for PeclersParis (http://www.peclersparis.com). Personal correspondence. Jan. 7-9, 2015.
  • Lohr, Steve. "The Age of Big Data." The New York Times. Feb. 11, 2012. (Jan. 16, 2015) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/sunday-review/big-datas-impact-in-the-world.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  • Meko, Dave. "GEOS 585A, Applied Time Series Analysis." University of Arizona, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. 2013 (Jan. 12, 2015) http://www.ltrr.arizona.edu/~dmeko/geos585a.html
  • Nau, Robert F. Professor, Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business. Personal correspondence. Jan. 6-7, 2015.
  • Nau, Robert F. "Statistical Forecasting: Notes on Regression and Time Series Analysis." Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business. (Jan. 12, 2015) http://people.duke.edu/~rnau/411home.htm
  • Pasquale, Frank. Op-Ed: We're Being Stigmatized by 'Big Data' Scores We Don't Even Know About. The Los Angeles Times. Jan. 15, 2015. (Jan. 19, 2015) http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0116-pasquale-reputation-repair-digital-history-20150116-story.html
  • Pedersen, Dawn C. L. Creative director, TRENDZINE Fashion Information Media Network (http://www.trendzine.net). Personal correspondence. Jan. 7, 2015.
  • Perry, Walter L., et al. "Predictive Policing." RAND Corporation. 2013.
  • Pressman, Laurie. Vice president of Pantone Color Institute (http://www.pantone.com). Personal correspondence. Jan. 9, 2015.
  • Rosenbush, Steven and Michael Totty. "How Big Data is Changing the Whole Equation for Business." The Wall Street Journal. March 10, 2013. (Jan. 16, 2015) http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324178904578340071261396666
  • Simply Hired. "Average Trend Forecasting Salaries." Jan 13, 2015. (Jan 13, 2015) http://www.simplyhired.com/salaries-k-trend-forecasting-jobs.html
  • Swedroe, Larry. "How Our National Debt Hurts Our Economy." CBS News. Nov. 12, 2012. (Jan. 9. 2015) http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-our-national-debt-hurts-our-economy/
  • Swedroe, Larry. "How Reducing Our Deficit Can Help Our Economy." CBS News. Oct. 22, 2012. (Jan. 9. 2015) http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-reducing-our-deficit-can-help-our-economy/
  • Vogt, W. Paul. "Dictionary of Statistics and Methodology." SAGE. 1993.
  • Watson, Richard. "Timeline of Failed Predictions (Part 1)." Fast Company. (Jan. 13, 2015) http://www.fastcompany.com/1706712/timeline-failed-predictions-part-1
  • Zimmerman, Eilene. "Roaming the World, Detecting Fashion." The New York Times. May 11, 2008. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/jobs/11starts.html?_r=1&