The category Analysis functions as an umbrella for a variety of different Methods, all involved in some kind of issue structuring process or complexity reducing technique. These are methods which – as the general term is suggesting – help to analyse high interdependency systems and break them down into smaller pieces to treat a problem or a research question accordingly.
Biometrics are a composition of methods used to study or measure texts and information. They can explore the impact of a whole field, the impact of a set of researchers, or the impact of a particular paper through the analysis of publications.
Cross-Impact Analyses are a family of techniques designed to evaluate changes in the probability of the occurrence of a given set of events consequent on the actual occurrence of one of them.
Environmental Scanning is not a Foresight method as such, but rather an essential background activity or first step in any Foresight exercise. It aims at detecting ‘weak signals’ in order to provide early warning about important future changes.
Horizon Scanning implies a search process, which is extended at the margins of ‘the known’ environment and possibly beyond this with the aim of identifying emerging issues and events which may present themselves as threats or opportunities for society and policy.
Morphological Analyses (and Relevance Trees) are normative forecasting methods which start with future needs or objectives, and then seek to identify the circumstances, actions, technologies, etc. required to meet them.
Multi-Criteria Analyses aim to compare different actions or solutions according to a variety of criteria and policies. The method is based on the evaluation of actions by means of a weighted average.
Structural Analyses seek to represent the ‘system’ by highlighting key variables, which (potentially) influence the problem under study, with the help of a cross-impact matrix (also called a structural analysis matrix).
SWOT Analyses are an analytical tool which is used to identify and categorise significant internal (Strengths and Weaknesses) and external (Opportunities and Threats) factors faced either in a particular arena, such as an organisation, or a territory, such as a region, nation, or city.
Trend is a general tendency or direction of a development or change over time. It can be called a megatrend if it occurs at global or large scale. A trend may be strong or weak, increasing, decreasing or stable. There is no guarantee that a trend observed in the past will continue in the future.
Trend Intra- & Extrapolations are tools to locate a trend that is apparent over time, and project it forward based on data concerning the rates of change and the extent of change achieved.