recentpopularlog in

jerryking : indicators   12

Scientific methods - Dung beetles prefer human faeces to those of wild animals
Jan 9th 2020 edition | The Economist |

A long-established experimental procedure turns out to be biased.

Science and technology

Ecosystems are complex things, and monitoring their health is hard. To track every species would be impossible, so ecologists commonly focus on those that, like canaries in coal mines, are thought to indicate when the system as a whole is beginning to suffer. Dung beetles are one such group, and have been relied on heavily for years to monitor the effects of things like logging, grazing and road-building.

When there are lots of species of dung beetles around, and faeces vanish quickly, an ecosystem is assumed to be in good shape. When their diversity drops and faeces hang about unconsumed, it suggests something is wrong. However, as Elizabeth Raine, a zoologist at Oxford University, has realised, the value of this assumption depends on how you go about sampling the beetles. That is done by attracting them with their preferred foodstuff, faeces. And she thinks it is being done badly.......Why Dr Raine’s dung beetles prefer human faeces is a mystery, though she suspects that the varied diets enjoyed by modern human beings may have something to so with it. But her experiment does illustrate a wider point. This is that scientific discoveries are only as good as the experiments used to make them. It therefore behoves people to check even well-established procedures from time to time, to make sure they are not falsely assuming that what is sanctioned by familiarity actually works.
assumptions  biases  ecologists  ecosystems  feces  indicators  insects   leading_indicators  scientific_method 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
What Will a Recession Do to Venture Capital? | Real Vision
The Interview · Featuring Josh Wolfe and Raoul Pal
Published on: July 24th, 2019 • Duration: 35 minutes

Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital, sits down with Raoul Pal to examine the indicators that are warning that the economic cycle is reaching an inflection point. Wolfe and Pal discuss the idea that inflated valuations in venture capital are being caused by the incremental buyer's desperate search for growth. Wolfe warns that if the cycle indeed turns, a liquidity crisis could emerge. Filmed on July 9, 2019 in New York.
economic_downturn  indicators  inflection_points  recessions  Softbank  start_ups  valuations  vc  venture_capital  warning_signs 
december 2019 by jerryking
Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK APRIL 17, 2017
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
Share
Tweet
Email
More
Save

121
Steve_Ballmer  government  Andrew_Sorkin  databases  data  measurements  economics  indicators  real-time  forecasting  economic_data 
april 2017 by jerryking
Emerging markets offer clue for investors in 2017
December 31/January 1 2017 | Financial Times | by Gillian Tett.

Now (people = politicians = capriciousness/alternatively, unpredictable waves of populism) are shaping events, not established party platforms or policy programmes....the pricing of political uncertainty has moved from being an emerging market phenomenon to an emerged market issue....Is there any way for investors to adapt to this new world? ....(1) Start by abandoning the idea that asset values can be predicted by using neat economic models alone. ...investors urgently need to think about the difference between "risk" (i.e. events that can be predicted with a certain probability) and "uncertainty" (i.e. unknown future shocks). Until now, investors in developed markets have tended to focus primarily on risks and assume that these can be priced (and hedged against). But 2017 is likely to produce uncertainty. That cannot be easily priced or hedge--and investors should recognize this. (2) Investor should also embrace "optionality": the only way to prepare for a world of uncertainty is to stay as flexible and diversified as possible. Now is not the time for investors to put all their eggs in one basket, or bet on just one asset class. Nor is it time for businesses to be locked into rigid business plans: political and geopolitical upheaval could strike almost anywhere. (3) If 2017 does deliver more risk and uncertainty, expect financial markets to be "skittish" about "news" of all types, and not just economic....Bad news for those who despise market volatility (expectation: we're in for volatility like we've never seen before)....Uncertainty can deliver huge opportunity alongside risks..."good" surprises....Surviving 2017 in the developed economies requires that investors use tools beyond those found in the realm of economics: psychology, sociology and political science. Also, talk to successful emerging market investors to find out how they practice their craft.
concentration_risk  Gillian_Tett  emerging_markets  political_risk  unpredictability  Brexit  investors  Donald_Trump  uncertainty  risks  optionality  geopolitics  financial_markets  politicians  volatility  tools  economics  psychology  sociology  political_science  FT  institutions  rule_of_law  Gary_Cohn  populism  indicators  human_factor  assets  asset_values  asset_classes  diversification  dislocations  bad_news 
january 2017 by jerryking
What Scented Candles Say to an Economist - The New York Times
By DIANE COYLE NOV. 7, 2015

We need a wider variety of indicators to help us take a more accurate reading of the economy. Some of these might seem frivolous, but paying close attention to worldly detail could make forecasting more reliable.
(1) height of hemlines
(2) the number of cranes visible on the skyline
(3) Spending on luxury items is another example. During a boom, sales of fast cars, expensive paintings, prime real estate and diamond necklaces all soar, as do their prices.

Less obvious are trends in retailing. When the good times roll, people decide that their great idea for a specialty store is viable. Thus booms bring all those boutiques selling just one type of good: socks or scented candles or freshly squeezed juices. But like flowers that display the behavior known as nyctinasty — opening to the sun’s light and warmth — they close as soon as the skies darken and things start to cool.

(4) how easy, or otherwise, it is to get restaurant reservations or tickets for shows.
(5) how many “help wanted” signs appear in the windows of stores and restaurants.

....G.D.P. almost certainly fails to capture newer areas of economic activity, such as today’s digital innovation — so other sources of information are needed to fill the gap....economic policy makers usually scrutinize tens, or even hundreds, of indicators, covering different industries and assets, different parts of the country, different groups of people. They monitor jobs reports, advertising rates, wage settlements, the cost of shipping freight, asset prices, sales of consumer durables and much, much more.
economics  economists  forecasting  non-obvious  GDP  indicators  trends  retailers  boutiques  detail_oriented  economic_data  information_sources  policymakers  policymaking 
november 2015 by jerryking
Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts - HBR
John Chambers
FROM THE MAY 2015 ISSUE

Mr. Chambers said that customers are the best indicators of when to make investments in new technology. “That’s one reason I spend so much time listening to CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs during sales calls,”
HBR  Cisco  anticipating  ksfs  transitions  indicators  market_intelligence  John_Chambers  IBM  layoffs  CEOs  market_windows  disruption  customer_relationships  sales_calls  CIOs  CTOs  listening 
may 2015 by jerryking
More Data Can Mean Less Guessing About the Economy - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR
Published: September 7, 2013

measurement shortfall in the small-business sector, and a series of other information gaps in the economy, may be overcome by what experts say is an emerging data revolution — Big Data, in the current catchphrase. The ever-expanding universe of digital signals of behavior, from browsing and buying on the Web to cellphone location data, is grist for potential breakthroughs in economic measurement. It could produce more accurate forecasting and more informed policy-making — more science and less guesswork.... THE economics profession is gearing up to exploit new sources of digital data. In a recent paper, “The Data Revolution and Economic Analysis,” two Stanford economists, Liran Einav and Jonathan Levin, concluded that “there is little doubt, at least in our minds, that over the next decades ‘big data’ will change the landscape of economic policy and economic research.”

At Intuit, the small-business data portray a sector that was “hurt much more than big business by the recession and its recovery has been far worse,” says Ms. Woodward, the economic consultant. Over the last three and a half years, payroll employment for all companies has increased 6.9 percent, while small-business employment has risen far less, just 1.9 percent. Hiring among the small companies, though still sluggish, has inched ahead in the last three months.
data  Steve_Lohr  massive_data_sets  Intuit  information_sources  small_business  measurements  Freshbooks  economy  Erik_Brynjolfsson  economics  indicators  real-time  forecasting  economic_data  information_gaps  signals  economists  data_driven 
september 2013 by jerryking
Manage from a Single Piece of Paper
January/February 2007 | Business Owner | Anonymous.

Great managers know exactly where their company based on four or five key indicators. Gary Sutton, legendary turnaround expert and author of The Six Month Fix, urges all business owners to manage from a single piece of paper. Sutton suggests they monitor information that looks ahead, such as: inbound calls/responses by source, orders received by product or product line, returns or warranty claims, total gross profits, payroll expense and accounts receivable. In addition, include a breakdown of costs by expense category. Next add liquidity data, inventory data, and data more upstream in the sales cycle, such as cash on hand and credit available. Have this information delivered to your desk once a week, and you will be empowered with the information needed to do your job. Here as some data sheet items: breakeven point, and performance of each profit engine.
metrics  small_business  running_a_business  KPIs  dashboards  start_ups  data  books  data_driven  indicators  forward_looking  owners  simplicity 
september 2013 by jerryking
New Economists Scour Urban Data for Trends - WSJ.com
APRIL 8, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by CARI TUNA. New Ways
to Read Economy. Experts Scour Oddball Data to Help See Trends Before
Official Information Is Available. A growing number of economists and
urban planners [are] scouring for economic clues in unconventional urban
data—oddball measures of how people are moving, spending and working.
"Mr. Egan said he would like to build software to monitor Craigslist
prices for furniture, concert tickets, haircuts and other goods and
services to measure changes in local prices. The online classified-ads
site, he said, would give a quicker and more detailed read than the
bimonthly data from the Labor Department."

Broadway ticket sales are a favorite indicator for the chief economist of the New York City Economic Development Corp., Francesco Brindisi. He says they are a good gauge of city tourism.

In Jacksonville, Fla., community planner Ben Warner keeps tabs on calls to the city's 2-1-1 hotline for social services. Since late 2008, he has seen spikes in calls for help with food, housing, utilities payments and suicide prevention. It is "direct, real-time monitoring of the economic and social situation," he said.
Broadway  data  urban  unconventional_thinking  economic_analyses  craigslist  Hal_Varian  massive_data_sets  Freshbooks  economists  trends  pattern_recognition  measurements  real-time  forecasting  indicators  unorthodox  economic_data  metrics  Cari_Tuna  data_driven  unconventional  economics  non-traditional  hotlines  information_sources 
april 2010 by jerryking
Power Points - The Globe and Mail
June 1, 2009 The Globe & Mail | by Harvey Schachter. Five before 11; GPS, point me to lunch

GPS, point me to lunch

GPS devices are increasingly common for salespeople and other mobile workers. Technology writer Marc Saltzman notes that they can be loaded with "points of interest" data, which can help find a restaurant with Thai food or vegetarian cuisine when the client you are taking for lunch indicates a preference, or a gas station when the tank is running low. Inc.com

Leading indicators of distress

These days, the most entrenched companies can plunge into financial distress with dizzying speed. Your strategic planning, therefore, should now include monitoring the performance of suppliers, customers and competitors. Leading indicators of distress include delinquent accounts payable, downgraded debt ratings, large share price declines, late inventory deliveries and lower quality goods. The McKinsey Quarterly
dashboards  distress  financial_distress  GPS  Harvey_Schachter  indicators  leading_indicators  McKinsey  POI  ratios  warning_signs 
june 2009 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read