Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

A prediction (Latin præ-, “before,” and dicere, “to say”) or forecast is a statement about the way things will happen in the future, often but not always based on experience or knowledge. While there is much overlap between prediction and forecast, a prediction may be a statement that some outcome is expected, while a forecast is more specific, and may cover a range of possible outcomes. A “prediction” may be contrasted with a “projection”, which is explicitly dependent on stated assumptions. Although guaranteed accurate information about the future is in many cases impossible, prediction can be useful to assist in making plans about possible developments; Howard H. Stevenson writes that prediction in business “… is at least two things: Important and hard.”