Wondering How to Strategize for the Next Big Disruption?
Solver BI360 Can Help
Have you heard of futurists? These professionals are experts at predicting the future, and they help businesses plan properly to take advantage of emerging trends and industry changes. They also help companies position themselves against disruptive innovations.
Though the term “futurist” sounds like science fiction, these pros are real – and they’re helping organizations stay ahead of the curve. In the past, only large corporations had the R&D cash reserves to work with and hire futurists, but now Solver BI360 is making it possible for companies of all sizes to tap into critical insights about what’s coming next in the world, so that you can become a futurist yourself!
Register for the Solver BI360 webinar on March 21, 2019, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, so you can learn how BI360 can help your company plan for the future.
We want to keep the webinar itself fast paced, so we won’t be spending time on what a futurist is or does. But we know you’re interested, so we’re going to talk about it here on the blog.
What Is a Futurist?
As we stated earlier, a futurist is someone hired by a business to help them peer into the future. From the job description, you may be thinking that the large corporations have finally gone crazy and hired fortune tellers with crystal balls and palm reading skills, so they can trace their company’s lifelines.
We’re happy to report that futurists don’t use fortune telling mysticism to make their predictions, they only use cold, hard facts.
Some of them have a pretty high accuracy rate in predicting the future too.
Noted long-time futurist, bestselling author, and AI development leader at Google, Ray Kurzweil, can boast of a legendary 86% accuracy rate for his predictions and, although we don’t know the numbers on Ford Motor Company futurist Sheryl Connelly’s accuracy ratings, we do know she’s been the auto company’s in-house futurist for more than a decade. She must be really good at what she does.
How Do Futurists Predict the Future?
Instead of relying on questionable psychic abilities like those famous predictors of the past, today’s futurists base all their predictions on solid facts. In general, their work tasks include:
- Deeply researching emerging trends in their industry
- Paying close attention to societal trends as a whole
- Investigating the details of trends for their own company
Using careful, thoughtful big data analysis, futurists can accurately predict upcoming trends. They then use those predictions to develop a company-wide strategy that helps their business stay ahead of the curve and ahead of the competition.
Honestly, anyone who likes puzzles can become a futurist – just so long as they have the right tools.
How Does Solver BI360 Help Your Company Predict the Future?
As the leading Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tool for Acumatica Cloud ERP, Solver BI360 brings the power of full-fledged, enterprise-quality data analytics to companies of all sizes.
The solution provides the critical first step toward accurate future predictions and forecasting.
With Solver BI360, your company can:
- Consolidate wide-ranging sources into a single, simple-to-use reporting tool with automated presentation capabilities
- Use comprehensive reports companywide to develop and execute a future-looking strategy
- Turn your futuristic strategies into reality when you increase your budgeting speed and productivity
In addition, Solver BI360 makes it possible for your company to track historical trends and new, emerging trends in real time, so you can make smart, well-informed predictions about what’s coming up next.
This is especially helpful when you need to identify and protect against looming disruption in your industry.
What Can Futurists Predict?
Ray Kurzweil, the guy we mentioned earlier, is probably the most famous futurist in the world. He’s been in the spotlight for decades and his highly specific predictions have included:
- A computer beating a world chess champion by 1998 (IBM’s Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in 1997)
- PCs answering queries wirelessly through the internet by 2010
- People being able to command their computers with speech by 2009 (technically true, though Siri wasn’t that impressive in 2009)
For the future, Kurzweil predicts that:
- By the 2020s, nanobots (tiny robots) will be able to cure most diseases
- By the 2030s, we’ll be able to scan our consciousness onto a machine, so we’re no longer limited by the constraints of our physical bodies
- By 2045, we’ll be able to link our brains to AI in the cloud, so we all have all the knowledge in the world
Admittedly, these last ideas are pretty far-fetched (and kind of creepy), but perhaps the idea of chatbots seemed creepy and far-fetched when he made that prediction in 1999. Perhaps the idea of a computer winning at a complex game like chess seemed far-fetched when he made that prediction in 1990. (After all, do you remember what computers looked like in 1990?)
The point is that, as a futurist, Ray Kurzweil makes these impressive predictions that come true 86% of the time. If you were able to forecast the future of your company with 86% accuracy, imagine how much you’d benefit.
How to Become a Futurist
All it takes to start on the path to futurism at your company is to analyze historical data, investigate real-time trends, and then take a good, long look at the big picture that emerges, so you can come up with an idea of what will happen next. A robust and flexible data analytics program like Solver BI360 can get you all the data you need to get started.
By the way, if you’re still scoffing at that “consciousness on a machine” idea, just take a moment to reflect on the fact that Google, one of the largest and most successful tech companies in the world, puts great stock in what Kurzweil predicts. We might want to do the same, so we can start emotionally preparing for some weird, mechanized world in which grandma becomes a robot when her physical body fails her.
Or… perhaps we should maintain our sanity by just ignoring that prediction for now.
Think Like a Futurist
If you want to think like a futurist, you’ll need the business intelligence tools to collect and analyze big data from a wide range of sources, and you’ll want to ask yourself three questions whenever you’re faced with a new pattern:
- How could this trend disrupt my company?
- Why does this trend matter in the big picture?
- Where can I bolster my strategy to turn this trend into an opportunity?
Recent trends include increased mobility, the rise of virtual reality, aging baby boomers (like grandma), and geopolitical unrest. Try asking yourself the three questions above for each of those trends and see what you come up with. You’ll likely be surprised at what you can predict.
Imagine how much more you’ll be able to foretell when you combine those predictions with deep, effortless insight into your company’s specific trends. Solver BI360 can help with that.