As a social media analytics company filled with avid soccer fans, we wanted to take a closer look at the fan-generated conversation surrounding World Cup matches. Using the ForSight™ platform, we have created 32 monitors, one for each of the World Cup contenders. These monitors have allowed us to follow daily trends, watch excitement build behind a team and even make some fun-filled predictions about match outcomes.
Predicting a Winner
The monitors that we have created for each team have been collecting data for the two months leading up to the first World Cup game of 2014. This allowed us to establish a baseline of fan-generated Tweets so that we can determine the growth of each conversation as important matches approach. We call this dynamic shift in Tweet volume the “Excitement Factor”. Each morning, by 11am EST, we collect the Excitement Factor details for teams playing that day and make a prediction.
Our predictions were first just based on the Excitement Factor. After all, the fans had the most intimate knowledge of their teams and would reflect this in their excitement levels. After predicting the first two games correctly, we hit the jackpot by predicting that the Oranje would easily win against Spain, because Dutch supporters were much more excited than Spanish supporters about the game.
Our results started to deteriorate when two teams widely separated by their FIFA rankings played. The Excitement Factor was higher among Honduras fans, but France was a formidable opponent according to FIFA rankings. So we decided to utilize FIFA rankings in our predictions as well, and built a fancier–still fun-filled– logistics regression model using the games played so far as our training data set.
It is our intention to finalize our predictive model at the end of the 24 Group Level games, and predict the remaining games with full force. When the FIFA rankings are really close, we conjecture that excitement factors will tilt the equation towards the eventual winner. We are excited to see what the results will look like, and update our predictions before each game!
We will leave you with our predictions for the Brazil/Mexico and Russia/Korea games before the games are played: