Prediction and forecasting are two interrelated concepts which in some extent depend on each other. Sometimes, it can be used interchangeably. Prediction is derived from the individual perception and imagination of the people. The depth of knowledge, decision making ability, self-personality and experience are the some of the influential logical parameters that are vital to enrich the prediction power. Suppose, after opening the colorful window, you have seen the cloudy sky surrounded by nature. Immediately you have decided from your emotional intuition that the rest of the day would be a rainy day. This perception can be mentioned as an imagination. Because this decision was not taken from any scientific justifications. In most of the cases the probability of this prediction will be wrong. But if you have taken the decision of rain-fall using scientific approaches, the probability of your prediction will be increased. Whenever, there are some scientific approaches for projecting the future, it can be termed as forecasting. But unfortunately, your forecasting will be wrong even though the accuracy of forecasting is more viable than that of prediction. But the quality of projecting the future in advance depends on the individual differences. Well, many may ask- what will be the combined effect of prediction and forecasting?
Definitely the combined effects of them are more efficient than that of any one of them. Suppose an organization has asked their R&D department to find out the future industrial trends in Bangladesh. Their first responsibility will be to gather the information of present industrial patterns in our country. This is obviously not enough for them to project the future. Technological change is going on throughout the world and the rate of change is very high, especially for the mobile manufacturing industries. Their other concern will be the global industrial trends and their effects on our manufacturing-based industries. After critical analysis and Management Information System, they can prepare the probable model of industrial trends in future. If they can do it successfully, then their organization can take the decision about how can they change themselves and in what ways they can accommodate themselves with the change. They may suggest about the new products in place of the existing products. The productivity analysis and financial change should also be analyzed. In such a case forecasting in conjunction with prediction can reflect the more accurate analysis. Another thing can be considered and this is the PLC. The product life cycle (PLC) may have very strong influence on the sustainability of the product. This analysis is required not only for existing product but also for the trends of future products and their direct impact on economy of Bangladesh. Artificial Neural Network (ANN), fuzzy logic can be incorporated with the forecasting for ensuring the quantitative and qualitative data-based system. The University of Texas at Austin has recently suggested a new computer-based forecasting technique called PAF (Partitive Analytical Forecasting). This technique is related with the logic networks which simulate the evolution and maturation of advanced technology. Belgian national control centre used recently neural network based techniques for short-term load forecasting to predict the ratio between the load for one day and the day before, instead of the raw load value. Actually the selection of appropriate forecasting method depends on the trends of data variation and some other external and internal factors. Sales forecasting technique is widely used throughout the world by some traditional forecasting techniques. But it needs to be improved by incorporating the IT based technology due to variable constraints in global market.
Well, weather forecasting is very well-known approach throughout the world. Before US and French election, people of the world were eagerly waiting to see ‘who will be the winner’? Curiosity of the people was in certain extent reduced by exit poll that was done by forecasting. In plain words, the world is changing very rapidly. If we want to go through the change for something better, then we have to adopt advanced forecasting strategies.
(The writer is a columnist.)