The World Cup introduced many of us to our very first interactive data visualisation – The World Cup Wall Chart. Filling it in diligently at the end of every game, we tracked our teams through the competition, recording the data and following the resulting patterns to a conclusion.

Today, however, the information we consume is somewhat deeper – from complex modelling that helps you predict the eventual champions, to AI that compiles the ultimate highlights package especially for you. Data is central to our football experience. And the World Cup is the perfect platform to demonstrate its influence!

How to predict a World Cup Winner

“There is a significant intangible element to football that renders it almost impossible to predict the final outcome of a match.” So good luck trying to pick the winner of the World Cup – a 64 game, 32 team tournament. There are, however, patterns throughout the history of the World Cup which can be used to form models to analyse the likely contenders to lift the trophy on July 15.

How to predict a world cup winner

How much significance should be assigned to form, experience, age, time the manager has been in his job, world ranking, the quality of club players come from and the bookies’ expectations? This clever World Cup forecasting machine, analyses every World Cup – going back to 1950 – to allow you to assign greater weight to the elements you consider more important to predict the winner.

The World Cup isn’t a popularity contest, is it?

Popularity is often used as a gauge for performance, so could global search trends be another factor to consider in predicting the winning team in Moscow? ‘How the World is Searching for the World Cup’ leverages Google search interest to identify trends throughout the competition.

Google trends - Top searched player

Data from Google Trends analyzes searches of the 32 national teams participating in the tournament, anonymising the data, and assigning it to a topic. Each national team and player is defined as a Google Knowledge Graph topic, which provides language-agnostic results and corrects misspellings.

Brazil tipped for success after 1 million simulations

Despite the potential pitfalls and unpredictability in forecasting a winner, many firms have braved the reputation of their statistical modelling and plumped for an eventual champion… One such prediction comes on the back of over one million simulations of the tournament, and reckons Brazil will lift the trophy on 15 July. Goldman Sachs based its forecast on data mining, machine learning and econometrics. It used 200,000 statistical models, sifted data on individual players and leveraged recent team performance. However, it might be worth pointing out that the firm predicted that Brazil would win the last tournament too… They were thrashed 7-1 by eventual champions Germany in the semi-finals.

Using AI to make the ultimate World Cup Highlights Machine

When it comes to smart data analysis IBM is always front of mind – so how could IBM use its Cognitive and AI flagship Watson to make the World Cup better? Well, one way would be to build the ultimate World Cup Highlight Machine.

The Ultimate World Cup Highlights Machine

Powered by Watson’s artificial intelligence, this video hub lets you create on-demand clips from every FIFA World Cup tournament dating back to 1958. You can filter out by year, team, player, game, play type or any combination of these. Once you set your parameters, Watson is able to make you a reel in just a matter of seconds!

Everything you need to know about the World Cup in 7 charts

For many, the perfect accompaniment to the highlights of any good game of football are the stats. Football is growing more and more obsessed by statistics. But do they change the way we look at a match? Statistics can a good way to complicate the game. However, the same information can also be used to simplify it too.

A great example of this is in the use of visualisations – like these 7 simple charts that share everything you need to know about the World Cup.

World Cup 2018 Everything you need to know in seven charts

You’ll never play in a World Cup, the data says you’re too old

All this excitement. But once upon a time, you had dreams that stretched beyond creating a model to predict the winning team… As a kid did you dream of pulling on your national jersey and leading your team out to a World Cup? Well, if you did, it’s official, these dreams are over. According to the data, you’re too old!

You're too old to play in the world cup

 

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Posted in Media roundup On June 13, 2018 By

Author Bio

Gordon Laing

Gordon Laing

After years spent plying a trade in journalism, I changed. But journalists never really change, do they? It’s always been about finding and sharing the best insight. And always will be.

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