Forward-looking thinking is critical for companies in all industries, and the pulp and paper industry is no different. The investments the industry has to make to sustain itself are large and take a long time to pay themselves back. One could argue that the industry’s greatest challenge is reliably predicting pulp and paper market conditions anywhere near as far out as new assets will last, or even for the length of time it takes for them to return the capital invested. Without at least modestly trustworthy insights into the future, investing in new paper making assets would be close to pure gambling.
Reliable, forward-looking insights are not those that are based in emotion, but rather those derived from the strategic use of business intelligence. Data must meet certain known minimum quality standards; it can be measured against them to define the reliability of conclusions it will produce. Based upon models that incorporate past trends, math and feedback loops, it must be combined with expert, impartial understanding to extrapolate them forward to draw real-world conclusions.
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