About Crowdwise

Crowdwise.co.uk was inspired by a book by James Surowiecki called “The Wisdom of Crowds”. In it the author explained how you can get a pretty accurate answer to any question, that can be answered quantitatively, by asking a wide cross-section of people what they think. Image of "The Wisdom of Crowds" a book by James SurowieckiThe average of their responses invariably gives a more accurate answer than you can get by asking an expert!

That it works has been demonstrated many times. In particular in a recent TV show a random group of people were asked to guess the weight of a cake and, although there were wide fluctuations in the guesses made, the average of their guesses was within a few grams of the exact weight – better in fact than the estimate made be someone used to judging weights as part of their job.

To get the best results the group of people you ask needs to be varied, needs to be independent (ie. can’t collaborate with each other), and needs to respond at much the same time. In general the more opinions that are canvassed the better.

What better place than the internet to meet those criteria?

Possible Applications

The principle is pretty counter-intuitive, but once you have put aside any natural scepticism, the ways in which this can be used are endless. The obvious ones are to predict the outcome of sporting events – who is going to win the Grand National; who is going to win Wimbledon; who is going to win the FA Cup?

But why stop there? Wouldn’t it be useful to know which is the favourite out of a group of brands of margarine? When is the next General Election going to be held?…. the list of possibilities is limited only by your imagination.