Cultivate Labs Support Article

Cultivate Labs Support Articles

Tips for Asking Good Forecasting Questions

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind about forecasting questions:
  • Can be binary (Yes/No) or multiple choice
  • Must have objective and verifiable answers (so that we can determine forecasting accuracy)
  • Good rule of thumb: do not start a question with “should", or anything that elicits a subjective opinion
  • Information should be readily available via research of materials or interactions with people
  • Ask enough questions, but don't overwhelm. Many people ask how many questions there should be to start. There is no exact answer, but we have seen that starting with about 3-4 business questions and 2 culturally-relevant "just for fun" questions is a good start to get people intrigued and forecasting.  Ideally, you want at least 15-20 forecasters per question for valid results.
  • Publish new questions on an ongoing basis (weekly or biweekly). After the launch, you should continue to have about one new question each week or biweekly to keep people coming to the site.
  • Vary the question timeframes, have a good "mix". Just as important as the number of questions is the question timeframe. For greater participation, you must shoot for a mix of short-term (1-3 months) and longer-term (4-8 months) questions. Short timeframes are important as people want to see how they forecasted - this gets them excited and drives more participation. If you're finding that your business questions are long-term, figure out if there are shorter timeframe milestones you can ask about and create a cluster of questions that can guide predictions around a more long term event. As a last resort, include short-term "fun" or more tangential business questions (e.g. Who will win the X sporting event? What will be the highest price of oil from now through the end of the month?). 

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