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Surveying Professional Forecasters
Grushka-Cockayne, Yael; Lichtendahl, Kenneth C. Jr. Case QA-0805 / Published June 27, 2013 / 6 pages.
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Product Overview

This case illustrates how averaging point forecasts harnesses the wisdom of crowds. Students access data from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) and compare the performance of the crowd (i.e., the average point forecasts) to the average performance of the individual panelists and the best performer from the previous period.The case is intended for use in a class on forecasting, and the instructor can present it in three ways: with all necessary SPF data cleaned and preprocessed in a student spreadsheet (UVA-QA-0805X, provided with the case); with code (also provided in the student spreadsheet) written by the case authors in R, the statistical computing package, as well as a supplementary handout (UVA-QA-0805H, also provided with the case), which walks students through R code, explaining how to clean and analyze the SPF data; or as a team project to be worked on over several days, providing neither the spreadsheet nor the supplement.


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  • Overview

    This case illustrates how averaging point forecasts harnesses the wisdom of crowds. Students access data from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) and compare the performance of the crowd (i.e., the average point forecasts) to the average performance of the individual panelists and the best performer from the previous period.The case is intended for use in a class on forecasting, and the instructor can present it in three ways: with all necessary SPF data cleaned and preprocessed in a student spreadsheet (UVA-QA-0805X, provided with the case); with code (also provided in the student spreadsheet) written by the case authors in R, the statistical computing package, as well as a supplementary handout (UVA-QA-0805H, also provided with the case), which walks students through R code, explaining how to clean and analyze the SPF data; or as a team project to be worked on over several days, providing neither the spreadsheet nor the supplement.

  • Learning Objectives