Crowd Predictions: How groups can predict the future

What are Crowd Predictions?

Collective Intelligence combines elements of sociobiology, psychology and political science. Ideas surrounding the benefits of Collective Intelligence originate from Aristotle but it is not until recent years that extensive research has been conducted into one key aspect of the wisdom of crowds – Crowd Predictions.

The notion of Crowd Predictions rose in prominence following James Surowicki’s 2004 book “The Wisdom of Crowds” where he argues that decisions and predictions are better achieved with groups of people rather than a single individual. A more diverse group of individuals creates a better pool of knowledge and more accurate predictions.

There are two main types of Crowd Prediction techniques: prediction markets and prediction polls. Prediction markets allow people to bet in order to determine the likelihood of future events. A typical prediction market question might be something similar to: “Will Brazil win the 2018 world cup?” Prediction polls rely on asking lots of people the probability of something happening and taking an average of what they say. For example “60% of people think Brazil will win the 2018 world cup”.

Crowd Predictions in Organisations

Crowd Predictions can be incredibly important in an organisational context as they can be used to determine the likely success of a new product, service or process. Moreover, Crowd Predictions can identify how employees feel a significant change in their sector will affect the organisation. As a result, the opportunities (and benefits) for Crowd Predictions within organisations are limitless.

As a forecasting method, Crowd Predictions are employed when one wants to gain and aggregate information that is dispersed among a group of individuals. With a disruptive future ahead (new technologies, alternative ways of working), the method of Crowd Prediction will become increasingly useful to organisations. Qualitative data led methodologies (such as Crowd Predictions) combined with quantitative analysis will be a valuable forecasting tool for helping to shape organisations and those that employ such methods will reap the rewards.

Silverman Research
Podcast: Louis Rosenberg on “Swarm Intelligence”
Silverman Research
Crowdoscope – An Interactive Survey Tool for Social Collective Intelligence