“Four Lessons from History on Data & its Application” by ZenithOptimedia’s Richard Shotton


The trade press overflows with interesting predictions about the future of advertising. But there’s a problem…

Experts, marketing or otherwise, have an awful record of predictions. Philip Tetlock, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, ran a 20 year study that analysed 82,361 forecasts from 284 experts. He found that their predictions were as likely to be wrong, as right. In his memorable phrase, the average pundit fared no better than 'a dart-throwing monkey'.

It’s not just that these marketing predictions misguide us. There’s also an opportunity cost. Our fixation with the future crowds out an interest in the past. Yet there is value in looking backwards to people who grappled with similar problem to ours. 

Read Richard Shotton's full "Four Lessons from History on Data & its Application" .pdf here.


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