New Series: Everything is Forecasting

By Zach Siewert on October 18, 2021

At Cultivate Labs, we eat, sleep, and breathe forecasting. Many of us forecast regularly on our public platforms (such as CSET’s Foretell or Good Judgment Open), and even our company meetings are permeated with forecasting language: an 80% likelihood of landing a new client, or our base rate expectation for participation on a new site.

This isn’t just a matter of language though - when it comes down to it, every decision we make is an implicit forecast, and we can make that forecast well or poorly.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter. My “forecast” of whether I’ll be more satisfied with a breakfast of oatmeal or a croissant doesn’t have much impact on my life. But thinking like a forecaster in our daily work and life can help us make better decisions - whether it’s deciding on a minor process improvement or a multi-million dollar project.

Indeed, many of our clients find that in addition to producing accurate, timely forecasts using our platform, going through the process of making forecasts and “practicing” improves their “off-platform” decisions as well.

That’s why we’re starting a new blog series about applying forecasting principles to other areas of life and work. We’ll be discussing some of the key techniques to making better forecasts - like using base rates and tracking beliefs - and bringing in examples from our work and from decision science practitioners around the globe.

So check back often to see how you can improve your decisions - and feel free to reach out with questions and to tell us about your own decision-making techniques! We’re always learning and would love to hear about your experience.

First up: Base Rates - what are they and how do I use them?