Linstock’s Friday Takeaway – 11 November 2016

“The reputational blow to pollsters has drawn attention to newer, less traditional methods of prediction based on data from social media.”

In the News

Good Week: Donald Trump
After months of campaigning and heated political debates, business mogul Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States. Putting aside the shock that was felt across the world, political leaders including Russia’s Putin and the UK’s Theresa May congratulated Trump on his win. As the Republican President-elect shapes his administration, commentators are questioning what this may mean for various business sectors as well as for international trade.

Bad Week: Polling
The validity and effectiveness of polls as a way to measure sentiment across voters has been heavily scrutinised following the American election results. Many of the polls were wrong in their predictions of who would be elected as the next President of the United States, including the BBC poll which declared Hillary Clinton as the favourite candidate. The reputational blow to pollsters has drawn attention to newer, less traditional methods of prediction based on data from social media. BrandsEye, a tool that looks at people’s tweets, correctly predicted both Trump’s victory and the vote to leave the EU in June’s referendum, suggesting that the use of polls as a primary source of information may be coming to an end.

Good Week: UK-China relations
China’s Vice Premier Ma Kai was wooed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Phillip Hammond this week, in a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries. Ma Kai’s two-day visit to the UK was filled with discussions on trade, investment, financial services and energy. Referring to the UK-Sino relationship as “golden”, Phillip Hammond announced several trade deals which included infrastructure investment in the UK’s Northern Powerhouse.

Bad Week: Universities
The Higher Education Funding Council for England issued a report looking at the financial health of the higher education sector in England. The report, which reviews institutions’ financial forecasts, identifies a trend of reduced liquidity and increased borrowing which is unsustainable in the long term, and suggests the financial health of universities is set to get worse if international student numbers decline post Brexit.

Client News:
Management Consultancy Baringa launched a Consumer Products and Retail practice, which was featured in Consultancy UK. The new service line aims to support clients in meeting market and technology challenges.

Linstock News:
As COP 22 kicks off this week, Linstock reflected on the work we’ve been involved in on sustainability. Read our case study to see how Linstock worked with British Gas to help enhance its reputation with social housing providers in support of its efforts to sell services into these markets.