5 analytics tools for predicting World Cup success or failure


by Joe Curtis| 16 June 2014

You’ll have a better chance than in the office sweepstake.

The World Cup is upon us again, and this time around CBR are prepared.

You see, we've compiled a list of algorithms that will help us and you make a safe bet on the winner.

While they range from Microsoft's search engine to a videogame, all of them feature a deep reliance on data, which probably makes for a more reliable flutter than your mate's third pint tips.

Microsoft's Bing

Yes, the search engine is trying to predict the winner of the World Cup. Microsoft said last Tuesday that it's busy collating lots of data including variables from social to sport to predict every result at the summer football tournament.

Its Bing Predicts feature started by forecasting contestants' success on TV shows like The Voice, Dancing With the Stars and American Idol, but now a simple search for World Cup Predictions or any group matches will lead to Bing's predictions.

The team behind it wrote in a blog post: "For the tournament, our models evaluate the strength of each team through a variety of factors such as previous win/loss/tie record in qualification matches and other international competitions and margin of victory in these contests, adjusted for location since home field advantage is a known bias.

"Further adjustments are made related to other factors which give one team advantages over another, such as home field (for Brazil) or proximity (South American teams), playing surface (hybrid grass), game-time weather conditions, and other such factors. In addition, data obtained from prediction markets allows us to tune the win/lose/tie probabilities due to the 'wisdom of the crowds' phenomenon captured by the people wagering on the outcomes."

It reckons the USA is doomed in Group G, garnering zero wins, adding that Germany, with nine points, followed by Portugal's six, will qualify for the last 16 round.

Winner (of Group G): Germany
Loser (of Group G): USA

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