(and we all realized, hey we’re data scientists)
“Each of us performs feats of intuitive expertise many times each day.”
Daniel Kahneman, author Thinking Fast and Slow
Can you spot trends? Are you good at “looking ahead”? Is intuition real? Is it possible to have a sense of something in the future? Why should you care about predicting?
If you think about it, we’re all predictors in many ways. It’s something we do every day. When I judge that traffic will be busy on the way to work and choose to go an alternate way, I just made a forecast and acted on it. I invest in a stock based on a conviction that it will increase in value in the future
“If you go to the Apple store to buy an iPhone, you are speculating that the iPhone is more valuable than your dollars. Additionally, you are speculating that the iPhone will work.” –Michael Covel, author Trend Commandments
Purchasing an iPhone, for instance, is based on an assumption – a prediction, if you will, that it will make our life better. How did that decision come about? Maybe it was the experiences and reviews of other iPhone owners. Maybe it was the quality and reputation of the company. Whatever the reasons, we make decisions under uncertainty and use knowledge and intuition to move forward.
That’s what scientists do too. They hypothesize. The scientific method is basically: making a proposition (i.e. educated guess or prediction), conducting an experiment, and measuring to see if the results match the expectation. If so then the hypothesis is “proven”.
As a matter of fact, we’re data scientists! Information, decisions, and validation are the tools we use. Thinking in terms of anticipation, likelihoods and outcomes enable us to make better decisions in markets and in life. After all, we can hardly innovate if we don’t have an idea about what’s ahead? This will create a big advantage in self-confidence, analytical skills, and creativity. The better we are at creating informed expectations, the more enriched our life can be.
This is where Cindicator comes in. It’s a Crowd Forecasting Platform that combines analyst’s responses into indicators about events in the future. Cindicator’s slogan: “Contribute to next-gen predictive analytics. Share you market vision and reap the rewards.”
Wow, a tool to make predictions. It all starts with the formulation of the question.
“…a lot of times the question is harder than the answer. And if you can properly phrase the question, then the answer is the easy part.” -Elon Musk, founder Tesla
In many ways, Cindicator is ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.
Since its inception, Cindicator has posed thousands of questions about many things in different ways and time periods. I’m enthusiastic about being involved with Cindicator because good questions frame the future into manageable parts. I’m finding the answers in ways that I hadn’t thought of before because of the way they’re asked. An example of this: I usually ask, “Will XYZ stock go up?”. My question is vague. There’s no time or price target. Cindicator might put it like this, “Will XYZ stock hit $25 dollars (5% gain) in the next two weeks?”. It’s challenging my thought patterns and strengthening my ability to forecast. This is a skill to carry forward anywhere.
Cindicator, the ULTIMATE TESTING MACHINE.
Along with all of the questions, the platform records all of the predictions (hundreds of thousands so far) made by analysts. They are noted and stored, available for viewing any time before the event or after. As data scientists, we can really use this environment. Defining the questions and answering them on a frequent basis is key. Some answers will turn out wrong but you will be looking at things in a whole new way. As Thomas Edison said, the wrong answers are just as helpful as the right answers. When I’m wrong, I can take note if I was close or way off and how I might approach a similar set up next time.
Finally, following my theme that forecasting makes use of the scientific method,
Cindicator VALIDATES THE OUTCOME.
With Cindicator, it’s automatic. All predictions are scored and sorted into personal results, ranking, and statistics. This consistent measuring creates the feedback loop to develop better analytical skills. The best way to find out how you’re doing at something is to track it. You just might pretty good at this, but how would you know unless you track it? Hello Cindicator, our new best friend. We work well together. Question. Make a projection. Test the result. Note it and do it again, and again, and again. Practice with real world results at no risk. Get in as many iterations as possible. Really, why wouldn’t everyone want to participate? Being a Cindicator analyst is better than risk free because there’s nothing to lose but lots to gain.
Compete for fun. There is a ranking area to see how you are doing among other analysts.
Compete for prizes. Prizes are split into two areas: a prize just for contributing and a prize according to your ranking, where the more and better you do the bigger the prize. There are other incentives too, such as access to official event indicators, if a certain rank is reached.
Compete to forward your career. You might find that analyzing markets is something that you’re good at and enjoy doing full time.
I encourage you to be part of the team. As an analyst with Cindicator, you are contributing to the group’s thinking power. Cindicator is based on the research that shows there is wisdom in the answers of a crowd of people. When everyone’s answers are combined together, you arrive at an average that is often very accurate. The crowd usually gets it right even when it’s just guessing at how many jelly beans are in a jar. That’s why here everyone’s answers count. How many times in life do you get someone asking what you think about things…and taking it into account…because it’s valuable. You’re part of the dialogue. You get to have your voice heard. You matter.
Thank you for reading this and I hope it has inspired you to join the Cindicator team.