What value does estimation have?

During quire a few assignments I've been struck by the fact that estimation seems to be done purely out of habit. No-one seems to know what value it brings or if the data collected is ever used. So I've started to question the value of estimation and the way we do it.

This is not to say that estimation is bad and we shouldn't do it. I'm only asking the question of weather the estimation done in many places serves a value and what value is that. I would like to write something about this, based on my observations. However my observations are, by nature, quite limited. I would therefore love to get your feedback on how you do estimation. I would basically like to see if my theories are supported.

I will publish the results and my thoughts and assumptions during the fall. If there is material for it I will also do a talk on the subject.

Please help me out by taking part in this short survey.

Thank You!