As a manager, imagine if you could receive accurate predictions about important business parameters such as turnover, sales or customer satisfaction - and that this knowledge could come directly from your own employees.
The use of crowd predictions opens up new methods and tools for managers in Denmark, but if these concepts are new to you, you’re not the only one. Until now, only major American companies such as Google, Ford Motor, Eli Lilly and IBM have utilised the potential. Among other things, Google has used its employees to predict how many new users Gmail will receive.
But so far only a few Danish companies make use of crowd predictions, which means there is a huge untapped potential. Because employees are in direct contact with the company’s stakeholders, they can predict important business variables. Moreover, they collect information on a daily basis and often share this with colleagues.
The challenge is that this insight often does not reach decision-makers in time. With the help of new technologies, however, companies can collect employee predictions digitally and use them to foresee operational and strategic challenges and opportunities.
Specifically, this takes place using predictive software developed on the basis of algorithms that measure the accuracy of predictions. The basic idea is to gather collective predictions from different employee groups over time in order to assess whether they provide accurate and precise insights that can serve as a sound basis for management’s decisions. In this way, the software can be used as an effective management tool.
Management can use these predictions to act faster and make decisions based on more accurate and up-to-date information. The use of crowd predictions is therefore not only relevant for strategic decision-making but also for the company's daily operations.
The Collective Intelligence Unit (CIU) at Copenhagen Business School studies collective intelligence and crowd predictions. Among the research projects at CIU is "Crowd Predictions from the Frontline", supported by The Danish Industry Foundation. In the project, the Collective Intelligence Unit collaborates with a number of global companies in Denmark to test the potential of crowd predictions as a new, proactive decision-making tool for dynamic strategic management.
Even though we are still in the test phase, we encourage Danish companies already now to consider possible uses for employee predictions, particularly because the analysis required to obtain maximum value from the collected data can in itself give insight into significant potentials for the use of employee knowledge.
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