India workshop success
30 January 2019
A three-day workshop has brought together academics and practitioners for training, research and agenda-setting in the area of forecasting for social good at the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK), Kerala.
The event, led by Dr Bahman Rostami-Tabar and Professor Aris Syntetos from Cardiff Business School, saw delegates participate in an interactive workshop in India’s southernmost region.
Funded by the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) and facilitated by Wudi, a social tech start-up, the three days enabled participants to identify opportunities for using forecasting to support decision-making in organisations with social missions across India.
Following a competitive application process, in which 80 applications were received, 27 participants were drawn from sectors, including: disaster and recovery, education, government, healthcare, non-governmental organisations and social services.
Professor Syntetos led day one and demonstrated the importance of forecasting as an aid for planning and decision-making. He showed delegates simple forecasting techniques and stressed the importance of evaluation for accuracy and other implications provoked by the process.
Day two saw three expert speakers deliver video lectures to participants. They heard from:
- Dr Rohan Nelson from the Australian Government;
- Mr Peter Smeeth, the analytical manager of the Delivery Unit, NHS Wales;
- And Mr Syed Mohsen Hashemi Najafi, a supply chain coordinator in the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC).
The presentations offered an interactive element in which participants heard first-hand about the application of forecasting for social good across government, healthcare and relief organisations.
Dr Rostami-Tabar led the final day which focused on forecasting using R software. He covered the whole process of the forecasting task using a real data set from the health sector.
Putting theory into practice, participants used R to prepare, manipulate and visualise data and then apply forecasting methods and compare their accuracy.
Following the success of the workshop, Dr Rostami-Tabar and Professor Syntetos plan to organise more workshops in the area of social good in the future.