|A crystal ball used for predicting the future|
Predicting the future is not based upon looking into a crystal ball sitting on your living room table it is rather the ability to be able to predict future trends by observing ongoing trends today. This is an ability that requires much hard work and perseverance. In many circles the people who practice this trend watching are called Futurists. It has some ability that can be learned and it isn't necessarily something you are born with.
A prediction or forecast is considered to be a statement about the way things are apt to occur sometime in the future. These predictions are often based on experience or knowledge but that isn't always the case. Many times there is so much overlap between prediction and forecasting that a prediction is usually a statement from which there is apt to be an expected outcome. On the other hand a forecast they cover a range of possible futures based on the knowledge in hand.
Any guarantee that this information as it is presented will predict the future is often wrong, but at least it will allow you to decide on possible plans for meeting future developments. Howard H. Stevenson writes that prediction and business is at least two things: important and hard.
Many people confuse an informal prediction with an informed guess or opinion. This is what happens outside of the rarest context of the science of the future. Some of these so-called guesses may be more valid if the predictor is a person who is knowledgeable in his field that is employing sound reasoning along with accurate data.
One the largest investors in this kind of prediction are large corporations because I hope to focus attention on possible events, risks or business opportunities. They often use Futurists capable of bringing all the available past and current data together, as a basis for predicting some reasonable expectations they can expect in the future.
Another way to Futurists operate is by conducting public opinion polls as a way of predicting the outcome of various events. This is done to assess the public's opinion through these polls to predict the most likely outcome occurring in the future.
There are several other tools that are also used by Futurists besides a crystal ball to see what is going to happen later.
Prediction, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction