Research Roundup: Improving Intelligence Forecasts

Wharton West

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When business leaders fail to make accurate forecasts, profitability is at risk. When intelligence agencies miss the mark on their predictions, however, the results can be far worse. In a new analysis of behavior in the intelligence community, with implications for business managers, Wharton management professor Philip E. Tetlock and Wharton marketing professor Barbara A. Mellers present a framework to improve accountability and forecasting accuracy, particularly in a politically polarized climate.

In their article, “Intelligent Management of Intelligence Agencies: Beyond Accountability Ping-Pong,” published in the September 2011 edition of American Psychologist, the authors note that forecasts by intelligence organizations frequently are open to harsh criticism for either underreporting potential danger or overreacting to threats that never materialize. A clear recent example of underreporting would be the September 11, 2011, terrorist attacks on the United States, Tetlock says. At the other extreme, he points to reports — which later proved to be unfounded — that Iraq had developed weapons of mass destruction.

“The intelligence community is often whipsawed between these conflicting criticisms,” says Tetlock. “The question is: Is it possible in this kind of political environment to learn anything beyond avoiding the last mistake?” The authors propose three steps to end the “blame game” in intelligence predictions and improve accountability and intelligence forecasting.

Source: Research Roundup: Improving Intelligence Forecasts, Vertically Integrated Health Care, and ‘Worrisome’ Health Care Costs – Knowledge@Wharton

Outro. Comment or ‘connect’ to discuss how this applies to you and your organization…


Are Facebook Pages Killing the Corporate Web Site?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

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On the weekend, I was watching the National Football League playoff game between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts. Aside from the action on the field, one thing that caught my attention was a commercial from Sears that ended with a suggestion that people visit Sears’ Facebook Page rather than

The promotion of a corporate Facebook Page is not new but seeing a high-profile company put the spotlight on Facebook rather than its corporate Web site was, nevertheless, interesting.

It wasn’t that long ago that having a Web site was the core of a company’s digital presence. And while Web sites are still important and essential, Facebook has changed the digital dynamic.

Facebook Pages can be a compelling alternative to a corporate website — especially for a small business. Comment or ‘connect with me’ to discuss how this applies to your business…

Most Say No to Government Regulation of Search Engines

a chart to describe the search engine market

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Most Americans give high marks to Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing and don’t think the government needs to regulate their responses.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 77% of Adults say there is no need for government regulation of the way that search engines select the recommendations they provide in response to search inquiries. Just 11% believe such regulation is necessary, while just as many (12%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here).

The most frequent Internet users are the least likely to think regulation is needed for search engine recommendations.


Internet Marketing in under 300 words

Social Media Revolution and its Affect on Small Businesses

Social Media Landscape

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Social media is not a trend and its use is growing exponentially. The tools will evolve and may in fact change, but the need for businesses to incorporate the Internet in general, and social media specifically, into their overall marketing strategy in order to achieve their goals is not going away. Social media will continue to change the way businesses market their brand, products and services because a savvy business is able to be proactive with its consumers, listening to what they want and need and responding to those needs quickly.

Small business owners should be excited about the opportunities available using the Internet and social media to grow your brand and become more visible to your target market. Social media will enable you to reach more people interested in your products and services faster and more effectively without the huge marketing budget that traditional media requires. Social media gives you the chance to reach out, talk with your customers, give them a reason to talk about you and happily share their recommendation with their friends or better, your community. As pointed out in the video, consumers will “no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media“.

The good news is that according to a study by AMI-Partners, nearly 70 percent of the small businesses in the United States use social media. The bad news is that only 30 percent of small businesses perceive social media as strategically important to their continued business success because they are unsure how to best utilize the sites’ services to grow their business.