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Trend & Data Analysis

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Trend and Data Analysis

By:

Yuleidis Ramos

EDD 9200-M14

Trends and Issues

Nova Southeastern University

June 19, 2011

Introduction

What does the future hold for the 21st century? The world is currently racing through a fundamental turning point in history, with changes affecting technology, education, science, medicine, and business. Understanding the future and applying a systematic and pattern-based understanding can help identify and predict emerging trends. Business Dictionary (2010) defines the term trend as "a pattern of gradual change in a condition, output, or process, or an average or general tendency of a series of data points to move in a certain direction over time, represented by a line or curve on a graph" (para. 1). The words trend and fads are usually used interchangeably; however, there is a clear distinction between both words that is not just a semantics discussion. A fad is a "blip in culture, a short lived occurrence that will fade as quickly as it embarked and will not be missed once it is gone" (Webster's Dictionary, 2011, para. 1). Fads stand for a certain point in time that we have moved past. In contrast, a trend represents long-term changes or movements that are substantial, the general direction in which something moves. Trends are the momentum of society.

Trends

Tracking past trends is a key factor in predicting new opportunities for tomorrow. Data collection and analysis have always been an integral part of any commissioning process. From the beginning of recorded history, trends have been documented to provide a means for large cross sections of society to gain access to a better way of life. In early civilizations, tribal chiefs were responsible for identifying new trends from gazing at stars, to reading palms. In modern times though, futurists provide analysis of the future via modern electronics, sampling frequency, accuracy and presentation of the data by several orders of magnitude over the more traditional approaches (Investopedia, 2011). A futurist applies to visionary leaders, innovators, thinkers, writers, consultants, presenters and others who "look to the future" and just as frequently to those who "provide analysis of the future" via such methods as visioning, intuition, analogy, argument, logic, planning, policy analysis, cultural criticism, strategy development, marketing, road mapping, goal setting, forecasting, modeling, statistics, trend analysis, operations research, investment, surveys, horizon scanning, scenario development, prediction, prediction analysis, prediction market development, risk analysis and management, and other future-oriented activities (Investopedia, 2011). Futurists have a distinct and concrete awareness that many futures are possible, that the future cannot be known with absolute certainty, and that the present and human-based decisions can ultimately shape the future. Futurists do not pretend to predict the future; rather they help design methods developed through quantitative and qualitative methods of research to aid people in better understanding future possibilities in order to make better decisions today with tools such as trend analysis.

"Futuring"

One principle upon which most futurists would agree is the need to use multiple methods to address most future problems. A primary and valuable method of research utilized by futurists is trend analysis. Trend analysis is a structural mapping of expected changes in the behavior of societies, markets, and the consumers who drive them (Investopedia, 2011). Trend analysis refers to the concept of collecting information and attempting to spot a pattern, or trend, in the information (Investopedia, 2011). Trend analysis can also be utilized to estimate uncertain events in the past, based on relevant data to forecast future events.

Sustainable Energy

The increased concern about global warming and various widespread forms of pollutions has resulted in growing concern about alternative sources of energy. With a dire need for nonpolluting forms of energy and the ever-growing concern of carcinogen-related diseases and resource depletion, scientist are working around the clock to find alternative ways of going green though energy consumption. In the United States, a huge emphasis is now placed on the development of

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