Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, analysts within Deutsche Bank developed a computer model to forecast the results. The winners? Why, England of course.
It should be pointed out that they were after all ‘foreign exchange analysts’ which might just be submitted as mitigating evidence in their defence. Another piece of mitigating evidence is that their calculations were in part, based on the high number of Liverpool players present in the England team. The last time this happened, England won. Can’t fault that logic can you?
Nonetheless, they got things wrong. Very wrong!
Hedging their bets somewhat (just being good Bankers I guess!), they said that both Brazil and Spain could also emerge as winners. Well, we all know how that turned out!
Hindsight might indeed be an exact science and it is easy to be smart after the fact. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to encounter those analysts flipping burgers someplace, maybe one lit up with a giant ‘M’ – which, in their case, could be taken to stand for ‘Mugs’!
Today in business we need to be careful who we listen to, who we trust. Contrary to popular opinion, statistics and analytics don’t always ‘tell the truth’ of the matter and there is much to be said for common sense or even better, an honest, “I don’t know” from leaders when being asked to foresee the uncertain future!