Learning and improving our forecasts together: crowd forecast change alerts

By Faith Powell on February 09, 2023

Crowd forecasting allows you to get signals about events before they happen. We're making it even easier to be alerted to important signals by introducing crowd forecast change alerts – which notify you of sudden shifts in the consensus forecast.

Imagine being alerted to a sudden spike in the probability that Putin will cease to be President in 6 months, or that your company's new multi-million dollar product launch is more likely to be delayed than was forecast 2 weeks ago. The goal of this new feature is to help forecasters and decision-makers get new information more quickly, and be able to course correct or adjust expectations.

Let's walk through an example of the change alert in action:

Ben was recently forecasting on whether Myanmar would hold national elections on or before 31 December 2023. He started out confident with an 80% chance that Myanmar would hold national elections prior to the end of the year. Ben might not have time every day to research updates to Myanmar’s national elections timeline, so in order to keep tabs on the status of these elections, he set an alert for himself to learn if the crowd forecast changed by at least 8%.

A few days later, Ben received an email alert that the crowd forecast had changed more than 8%. He learned from others in the crowd that earlier that week, Myanmar’s military government announced that they would be extending a state of emergency, which would likely delay national elections. Armed with this new information, Ben lowered his forecast to a 55% chance that Myanmar would host national elections before the end of the year.

Description: Crowd consensus trend showing how the crowd forecast changed over time for the question “Will Myanmar hold national elections on or before 31 December 2023?”

Without this crowd forecast change alert, Ben might have missed this critical new information. Instead, he was able to assess the impact of the military's announcement and update his forecast accordingly.

Harnessing the wisdom of the crowd has always shown to be informative in the long term, but this is just one way that the wisdom of the crowd can also be helpful in the short term. While it may sometimes seem like forecasting is an individual skill to be practiced and rewarded on leaderboards; in more ways, forecasting is a collective effort – learning from other forecasters to improve one's own knowledge and forecasting capabilities. Together, our community of forecasters are learning from and growing with one another everyday.

To set a crowd forecast change alert on a question you’ve been forecasting on:

  • Go to any question page
  • Click the "Reminders & Alerts" tab
  • Click the "New Alert" button
  • In the "Create an Alert" section, enter the probability threshold for your alert
  • Click the "Submit" button
  • You will now receive an email alert if any answer in that question changes by the amount you entered

crowdsourced forecasting