Forecasting Impact is a monthly podcast that aims to disseminate the science and practice of forecasting alongside prominent academics and practitioners in the field. Our vision is to grow the forecasting community, foster collaboration between academia and industry, and promote scientific forecasting and good practice. We’ll discuss a variety of topics in economics, supply chain, energy, AI, data analytics, healthcare, and more. Podcast team: Host and chair: Mahdi Abolghasemi, edit & Marketing: Michał Chojnowski, co-host: Sevvandi Kandanaarachchi
Prof. Martie-Louise Verreynne, on Innovation & University-Industry Collaboration
Martie-Louise Verreynne is a Professor in Innovation and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, at the University of Queensland.
Prof. Martie-Louise Verreynne joined us to discuss the evolving partnership between academia and industry. While not a new concept, it has significantly transformed over the years, with over 40% of global patents now stemming from this collaboration, underscoring its growing importance in innovation. We examined the keys to success and common barriers such as differing priorities, resources, IP, paperwork, and objectives.
Martie-Louis discussed her recent work on collaborations between Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and universities, highlighting the complexities of balancing diverse interests.
We also explored successful university-industry collaborations in forecasting and their significant impacts. The pandemic has emphasized the importance of agility, which has influenced collaboration dynamics. Looking ahead, she envisions universities playing a central role in shaping the future of university-industry collaboration, continuing to drive innovation for the benefit of society and industries.
David Schmitt, on Transportation Forecasting
In this episode, we delved into the dynamic realm of transportation forecasting, exploring a wide array of ideas and questions.
Our discussion with David began by examining the primary data sources and methodologies that drive modern transportation forecasting. We continued by highlighting the pivotal role of real-time data, GPS technology, and advanced algorithms in providing accurate insights into traffic patterns, public transit ridership, and the trajectory of mobility trends. We also discussed the integration of emerging technologies like autonomous and electric vehicles, showcasing their transformative potential in shaping transportation models and infrastructure.
From a consulting and practical perspective, we explored the challenges of ensuring the accuracy and reliability of transportation forecasts and contemplated the influence of AI and machine learning on the future of transportation forecasting.
Stephan Kolassa, Bahman Rostami-Tabar, and Enno Siemsen
In this episode, we host three scientists, Dr. Stephan Kolassa, Dr. Bahman Rostami-Tabar, and Prof. Enno Siemsen. They are the authors of "Demand Forecasting for Executives and Professionals." In this episode, we delve into discussions about their book.
We discuss their motivations for writing this unique guide for professionals and the need for such a book. We explore the pivotal role of forecasting in business decisions and unpack key principles and methodologies. Our conversation navigates through causal models, stressing the importance of understanding the forecasting process. We highlight the profound impact of AI, machine learning, and human judgment in forecasting, considering cognitive biases and the potential of large language models.
The interview continues with discussions about the integration of demand forecasting in organizations, noting ethical considerations, reasons behind forecasting failures, and common hurdles encountered in evaluating forecast quality. We conclude by providing resource recommendations for further exploration of the topic and advice for executives eager to enhance their demand forecasting skills.
You can learn more about their book at https://dfep.netlify.app/ and order at https://www.routledge.com/Demand-Forecasting-for-Executives-and-Professionals/Kolassa-Rostami-Tabar-Siemsen/p/book/9781032507729.
Priyanga Dilini Talagala and Thiyanga Talagala
In this episode, we delve into the inspiring academic journey of two sisters from the heart of Sri Lanka. Dr Priyanga Dilini Talagala and Dr Thiyanga Talagala. Dr Priyanga is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa, specialising in statistical machine learning and data mining, with a fervent commitment to open-source software for reproducible research. Dr Thiyanga is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, focusing on large-scale time series forecasting, data visualization, and machine learning interpretability methods.
We had a delightful discussion and learned about their backgrounds, their transition to and from Australia, and their perspectives on the evolving landscape of forecasting in Sri Lanka. We also discuss the status of academic collaboration with industry, the unique facets of Sri Lanka's higher education system, and the role of cultural and societal dynamics in academic communities. They shared their mentoring work and availability for forecasting opportunities in Sri Lanka.
George Athanasopoulos - President of International Institute of Forecasters
In this episode, we hosted Professor George Athanasopoulos, President of the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF) and Head of the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics at Monash University.
George gave an overview of the IIF's current plans and new initiatives, including the Practitioners chapter, publishing papers in the International Journal of Applied Forecasting, the forecasting distinguished lecture series, and plans for the International Symposium on Forecasting, among others.
He also shared his career experience in forecasting and how he has grown in the field to his current position. George also mentioned to his research experience in hierarchical forecasting, his teaching success, and the recent stories on co-authoring and translating the famous book "Forecasting: Principles and Practice." into Greek.
George recommends the following books and papers as influential in his career:
Forecasting: Principles and Practice, RJ Hyndman, G Athanasopoulos, Otext.Tsay, R. S. (1991) "Two canonical forms for vector ARMA processes." Statistica Sinica 1, 247–69.Hyndman, R., Koehler, A. B., Ord, J. K., & Snyder, R. D. (2008). "Forecasting with exponential smoothing: the state space approach." Springer Science & Business Media.Panagiotelis, A., Athanasopoulos, G., Gamakumara, P., & Hyndman, R. J. (2021). "Forecast reconciliation: A geometric view with new insights on bias correction." International Journal of Forecasting, 37(1), 343-359
Forecasting Software Panel
In this episode, we had the honour of having three guests on our panel: Prof Rob Hyndman, Professor of Statistics from Monash University, Federico Garaz, CTO and co-founder of Nixtla, and Eric Stellwagen, CEO and Co-founder of Business Forecast Systems.
We discussed a range of topics on the role of software in forecasting, the latest status, and future trends in forecasting software. The panel shed light on the importance of incorporating operational information in software and integrating decision information in the software. We discussed some of the challenges in implementing forecasting software and getting them to work.
The panel shared insights and tips for excelling in forecasting software. Eric recommended defining what you want to accomplish, and the needs that you want to fill before choosing any software. Fede recommended Nixtla as a resource on various forecasting software and Forecasting Principles and Practices by Rob Hyndman and George Athanasopoulos as a reference book. Rob recommended books by Hadley Wickham as great resources.