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jerryking : qualitative   3

Coronavirus, Ray Dalio and forecasting in an age of uncertainty
March 18, 2020 | Financial Times | by Gillian Tett.

** Against the Gods: the Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter Bernstein.
** Uncharted by Margaret Heffernan.
** Radical Uncertainty by Mervyn King and John Kay.

Ray Dalio, founder Bridgewater Associates, admitted that he had been caught flat-footed by the recent coronavirus-driven market swings. .... It seems that the systems that Bridgewater developed to analyse the flows of finance and economic activities — which have traditionally driven its bets on the direction of stocks, bonds and other securities — did not offer any guidance when looking at a rare event such as the current pandemic. “We did not know how to navigate the virus and chose not to because we didn’t think we had an edge in trading it,” Dalio went on to explain. “So, we stayed in our positions and, in retrospect, we should have cut all risk.”
Now, many readers may feel baffled by this, given that the whole point of investing with a hedge fund is that they are supposed to beat the markets at times of stress....scorn is the wrong response here.....What is interesting to ponder is what this episode reveals about the nature of forecasting — and our modern attitudes towards time.
......the way we think about time is a defining feature of the post-enlightenment world. During much of human history, the future was viewed as a vague and terrifyingly unknowable blur marked by constant bargaining with deities (to ward off disaster) or cyclical seasonal rhythms (of the sort that underscore Buddhist cognitive maps). In modern, post-enlightenment western cultures, however, a linear vision of time emerged that presumes the past can be extrapolated into the future, with a sense of progression, not just cyclicality.

In the 20th century, this gave birth to the risk management and finance professions, as Peter Bernstein wrote two decades ago in his brilliant book Against the Gods: the Remarkable Story of Risk.
....... By 2000, innovations such as computing and the internet were turbocharging the forecasting business to an extraordinary degree, “Human discomfort with uncertainty . . . has fuelled an industry that enriches itself by terrorising us with uncertainty and taunting us with certainty,” However, while the forecasting business has made its “experts” very rich, it is also based on a fallacy: the idea that the future can be neatly extrapolated from the past. Moreover, the apparent success of some pundits in predicting events (such as the 2008 crash) makes them so overconfident that they get locked into particularly rigid models. “The harder economists try to identify sure-fire methods of predicting markets, the more such insight eludes them,”

Is there a solution? Heffernan’s answer is to embrace uncertainty, build resilience, use “narrative” (or qualitative) analyses instead of rigid models and to respect the wisdom of diverse views to avoid tunnel vision.

..........accept radical uncertainty and rethink our models......models (whether they emerge from computer science or economics) are like a compass in a dark wood at night. Navigation tools can give you a sense of direction and orientation; it would be ridiculous to toss them out entirely.

However, if you rely exclusively on them, accidents occur. If you walk through a wood just looking down at the dial of a compass, you will bang into a tree or worse. The trick, then, is to use navigation aids but also to maintain your peripheral vision..........the insights of cultural anthropology is one way to maintain peripheral vision, since it provides a social context for looking at our favoured tools (and thus a way to see their shortcomings).........Either way, now more than ever, we need broader perspectives — and humility — when trying to assess what might happen next, not just with the markets but with the coronavirus outbreak too.
books  Bridgewater  COVID-19  cultural_anthropology  extrapolations  fallacies_follies  forecasting  Gilliam_Tett  hedge_funds  heterogeneity  humility  linearity  mistakes  modelling  pandemics  peripheral_vision  Peter_Bernstein  predictive_modeling  qualitative  Ray_Dalio  risk-management  resilience  shortcomings  turbulence  uncertainty 
20 days ago by jerryking
Market Research: Safety Not Always in Numbers | Qualtrics
Author: Qualtrics|July 28, 2010

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.

we put together a few guidelines for when one research method might be more useful than the other.

Quantitative:
* For trending purposes, i.e. trends in customer feedback
* Need for quick feedback
* Particularly useful when a company wants to determine how to increase market share
* Product feedback for consumer products

Qualitative:
* Help identify non-obvious ways to delight current customers
* Looking for information to grow an existing market or create a new one
* Market research follow-up questions when numeric scales can be misleading
* Messaging validation for products that are new to the market
* Market validation
* Understanding objections and barriers
* Product feedback for enterprise products

In the article, “Market Research: Quantitative or Qualitative,” the writer Diane Hagglund said, “sometimes numbers provide false confidence and obscure real opportunity.” [Definition of overquantification]

She later added in a follow-up article that her market research firm recommends web surveys as good vehicles for quantifying concepts that the researcher is familiar with and wants accurate percentages for each option.

“This is a valuable thing to do, especially for market sizing, external marketing and PR purpose,” Hagglund said. “But for finding out the answers that you don’t really know, start with qualitative research – and by all means do a web survey next to put those percentages in place once you know the statements to put the percentages with.”

In other words, it’s important to quantify your qualitative research and qualify your quantitative research
market_research  market_sizing  overquantification  storytelling  qualitative  quantitative  Scott_Anthony  dangers  research_methods  non-obvious  enterprise_clients  false_confidence  Albert_Einstein  easy-to-measure  delighting_customers  follow-up_questions 
december 2011 by jerryking
20 Ways to Derail a Successful Sales Career | Company Activities & Management > Sales & Selling from AllBusiness.com
September 1 2002 | American Salesman | Bill Brooks.

#4.. They fail to prospect. Perhaps the greatest cause of failure in
salespeople is an inconsistent flow of qualified prospects. What causes
this? Becoming overly comfortable with existing customers, believing you
are in control of your marketplace... the list is endless.
#17. They never learn how to ask questions. Remember earlier I discussed
the concept salespeople fail to ask the right questions ... this is a
corollary to that flaw. Asking questions in the correct order, and in a
way that is non-threatening, open-ended and qualitative in nature, is
essential to sales success.
complacency  sales  selling  prospecting  tips  questions  sequencing  non-threatening  open-ended  qualitative  asking_the_right_questions 
december 2010 by jerryking

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