The Notorious B.F.D. World Tour

Although you probably didn’t notice, I stepped away from this blog for the last two months to think about something more important: The current state of business forecasting. I’d come to realize there is a lot of animosity in the world of forecasting. We have advocates of statistics, and a… dvocates of human judgment. We have advocates of minimalist forecasting processes, advocates of naïve models, and advocates of management consensus and full blown CPFR. There is a lot of hate out there, a lot of bad blood, and a lot of disrespect. Just go to any of the online bulletin boards and discussion groups, and see the chronic exchange of opposing ideas and approaches, and the raging dispute over best practices. This animosity is perhaps nowhere more bitter and vocal than in the US, in the ongoing feud between the east coast and the west coast forecasters.

It is in the face of this east coast/west coast animosity that I’ve hatched a plan – a plan to bring love and respect back to forecasters on all coasts, and around globe. That plan is:

The message of this tour is “What Management Must Know About Forecasting” – a topic all forecasters should be able to agree on. Scheduled stops on the initial North American leg of the tour include:

April 18-20 (Orlando): INFORMS
April 28-30 (San Francisco): Institute of Business Forecasting Best Practices Conference
May 18-19 (Jacksonville, FL): IT Value Studio
June 7-8 (Cary, NC): F2010 Business Forecasting Conference
June 20-23 (San Diego): International Symposium on Forecasting
July 28-30 (New York): IDeaS Client Summit

As you see, the North American leg wraps up in NYC, after a stop the prior month in San Diego. (That’s the closest I was willing to get to Los Angeles – you remember what happened to Biggie last time he was there.) A fall tour schedule is in the works, but already APICS in Nashville has denied me a speaking slot – apparently out of security concerns for the kind of crowds The Notorious B.F.D. is known to attract. I’ll take that as a compliment.

So until I see you Orlando or elsewhere, pour one for yourself, and pour one for all the forecasters who have fallen before us – because of what management does not know about forecasting.