You could see the storm coming for many days prior to arrival. I like to visit a website hosted by NOAA (click here) ... one can review the same computer simulations that meteorologists review.
The models locked in on a solution 3-5 days before Sandy roared into New Jersey. This level of accuracy wasn't possible several years ago. I mean, storms simply don't rush up the Gulf Stream and then turn to the northwest. The simulations used by NOAA identified the unusual combination of events that would cause the crazy weather pattern days later.
We need comparable tools in marketing, don't we? Wouldn't you like to see a simulation of what will happen in 3-5 years (instead of 3-5 days in weather forecasting) as mobile/social evolve and change? How would you respond if you knew that a major storm (mobile) was coming, and it was likely to fundamentally alter 20% to 40% of your business?
We keep hearing about the promise of big data.
What we really need are big simulations. As we learned with Sandy, it's really important to know that a highly unusual situation is bearing down on us. To my knowledge, this type of forecasting tool doesn't exist.