The New Year is upon us, and the blogosphere is awash with posts along the lines of 'Predictions for 2014' and 'What will be big in the next twelve months'. The irony is that we live in an increasingly unpredictable, turbulent world, in which accurate forecasting is an increasingly hard act to master.
I left Dublin this year, at the close of ISPOR's 16th Annual European Congress, thinking in terms of what is important when making a decision. The parameters need to be simple, intuitive and transparent in any evaluation model. This sounds straightforward, but which parameters should be measured, and how is a fair decision made?
Personal data is very much on the agenda but have brands really understood the implications? We have always been aware of the potential for negative publicity when things go wrong but it is only recently that we have started seeing the flip-side. Brands can actually accrue good publicity and custom for handling personal data and privacy issues well.
There are a plethora of lists citing the most innovative companies in the world published by some notable names in media. It does not matter that all differ in their membership; the debate of who is in and shouldn't be and who is missing but should be in is not important. What is important is that there are common principles of innovation to learn from and that can be drawn from the companies that are expertly surfing ahead on the wave of creativity.
Change is happening fast and it's clear that for many companies, the challenge is to keep up. We live in a world where value is being built and destroyed at mindboggling speeds, shareholders are becoming more radicalised and consumers can pass and spread judgement on a company in the blink of an eye.
With the latest wave of Ipsos MORI's Technology Tracker comes something of a landmark, as we see smartphone ownership rising above the 50% mark for the first time. Little over two years ago, in Summer 2010, the figure stood at just 20%.
I can't get enough of the 7 up series, a TV documentary following a group of people across the course of their lives. The first instalment was in 1964, when a group of 14 seven-year-olds from different backgrounds were selected to participate with the original premise "give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man" and "the union leader and the business executive of the year 2000 are now 7 years old."
I have worked in public opinion polling in the past, and indeed have polled on Scottish independence before, so a few people have asked me what I think about the question that has just been released by the Scottish National Party that is soon to be used in a referendum on Scottish independence: Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country? (Yes/No)