• Predictions for the Year Ahead: Pure Entertainment or Real Value?

    It’s that time of the year where we look back and reflect on the big events that changed our world over the past 12 months. Big losses (David Bowie and Prince, RIP), major acquisitions (LinkedIn by Microsoft), huge surprises (Brexit and elections worldwide) and big trends (real analytics replace feeble Big Data solutions, disposable apps change the game and applications get more predictive).

    It’s also that time when we look forward. Analyst firms, news teams and other experts issue predictions of what we can expect in the year ahead. This is often the fun part, imaging new possibilities and hoping the New Year will bring welcome new developments.But the big question is if these predictions are mere entertainment or if they have actual value. Are they mere ploys to grab headlines, which means the more outrageous, the better? Or are they based on fact, with prescriptive information that can guide sound decisions?

    It’s easy to make outlandish claims that get attention. For many prognasticators, that’s the name of the game. AI and virtual assistance will completely replace customer service, a new fail-safe nanobot IT security system will lock down data and we’ll see a breakthrough in cold fusion.

    Why not shoot for the stars? But, besides an amusing conversation, this has little value. At most it inspires people to think bigger, but then I’d argue just watch Star Trek.

    The more important predictions provide insight and go beyond merely inspiring. These are predictions that business leaders can use as they plan for the next year and weigh options. How mature is the Internet of Things, and should we be investing in solutions? Or is this still bleeding edge? Is micro-marketing a solution that can benefit the organization, and streamline efforts? Should we shake up sales and throw away the old funnel paradigm?

    Nucleus Research follows the latter school, focusing on real world, fact-based predictions. We know our clients expect research that helps them understand value. They don’t want imaginary scenarios meant to amuse. This isn’t about magic. They want a pulse on trends that are emerging and will present opportunities or challenges in the coming year.

    That’s why we are so serious about our predictions. We have a 95 percent accuracy rate over more than a dozen years, so we actually have a very good track record. While we might not predict that aliens will land and teach us how to generate energy from air, we will provide constructive predictions that are grounded in reality. In fact, check out our predictions for 2017