Who Best Forecast the Impact of the Trump Administration in the First 100 Days? Use Indicators to Evaluate
Randy Pherson, CEO Globalytica
Indicators are a pre-established set of observable phenomena that are reviewed periodically to track developments, identify trends, and warn of unanticipated change. They provide an initial, objective baseline that enhances the rigor and credibility of any analysis. They can also be used to validate existing hypotheses or viewpoints and assess whether a forecasted scenario is emerging.
When President Trump took office, predictions of what would occur under his Administration varied widely. Globalytica saw this uncertainty as providing an opportunity to conduct an Indicators exercise in January to assess the accuracy of our associates’ forecasts about how extensive the changes brought by the new administration might be.
The Method. Three days before President Trump was inaugurated, we surveyed 30 associates. We asked them to identify whether they are Trump Supporters or Trump Non-Supporters and to answer the following two questions:
- What three things (Indicators) would you expect to see—and would like to happen—in the first 100 days of the Trump Administration?
- What three things (Indicators) would you expect to see—and are afraid will happen—in the first 100 days of the Trump Administration?
Our associates provided about 70 anonymous responses (Indicators) to each question; the responses were sorted into two groups based on whether they were generated by Trump Supporters or Trump Non-Supporters. In Figure 1, we have captured the key Indicators generated by the survey—limiting each category to the twelve most representative responses.
Now that the Trump Administration has passed its 100-day mark, we have reviewed the four lists generated by our January exercise and scored each Indicator using a 5-point scale to reflect the degree to which the Indicator happened in the first 100 days. To ease readability, different shades of color represent high and low scores.
- All of us saw a lot more things that we hoped would happen than things we were afraid would occur. This would suggest our levels of anxiety were too high.
- Trump Supporters saw more things they were afraid would happen actually occur than Non-Supporters.
- Trump Non-Supporters saw more of their indicators come true than Trump Supporters.
These findings are preliminary: most of the Indicators have yet to play out fully, and future developments could reverse these trends. Globalytica plans to review the Indicators at every 100-day milestone of the Trump Presidency. The Analytic Insider will track and publish the results at each milestone which will enable you to monitor the progress of this project.
For a fuller description of Indicators, order your copy of Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis, 2nd ed. here. To learn more about our associated online training opportunities, including the two-week online Critical Thinking Fundamentals course we teach monthly, visit our training page.