The big game is on Sunday and we know who’s going to win. OK, no we don’t, but Microsoft’s Cortana thinks she does and she has a pretty good track record. If you remember, she called every single elimination match of last year’s World Cup, including the final, correctly. That’s right, she was 15/15.
But before we let Cortana spoil the fun for you data junkies out there, Dash Davidson, Tableau’s Sports Data Analyst, has shared some interactive viz’s with us which you can use to impress everyone and/or make your own predictions. They’re preloaded with data from Pro-Football-Reference.
Tableau Makes Data Easy to See
The viz below is a “Hawks-Pats Stat Comparison.” It shows a graphical comparison of several key team-statistics for the two Super Bowl teams. Each stat has a bar chart representing its relative value and a league-wide rank; everything is organized identically for the Seahawks and the Pats: axes, stat categories, formatting. Thus the viz offers a visual snapshot of the two teams’ relative strengths/weaknesses and provides plenty of information.
If you want to impress everyone with your statistical prowess during the Super Bowl, link to the viz from your phone and have at it!
The Videos Tell the Story
If you’ve ever wondered how a single play impacts a game, then check out "A Tale of Two Championship Games.” It’s a nifty recap of each championship team's semi-final game. It shows how the probability that each team was going to win its respective semi-final match-up changed throughout the course of the games and includes video clips of plays that led to big swings in the probability.
Bing Tells Cortana Who’s Going to Win
While Tableau used game data to inform its viz’s, it isn't in the business of making predictions. It leaves that job to its customers.
Microsoft’s Cortana, on the other hand, is willing to play the odds. It's powered by Bing, and Bing is all about big data, machine learning, algorithms and predictive analytics. Walter Sun of the Bing Predicts team says that when they go to pick NFL game winners, they not only model the respective strengths of the teams by examining outcomes from previous seasons, including wins, losses and the very rare tie outcome (two games since 2009), but also factor in things like margin of victory, location of contest, playing surface and roof cover (or lack thereof), weather and temperature conditions, scoring by quarters, and multiple offensive and defensive statistics.
They then mash that data with fan sentiment found on Web and social sites to include the aggregate wisdom of the crowd.Sun says that this introduces data which statistics alone cannot capture, providing real time adjustments which surprisingly can obtain injury news and other substantive factors in win probabilities.
So Who Is It?
The Patriots, says Bing -- but please don’t put money on it, we’re just having fun. Besides, the boys from Beantown are only slight favorites (51.5 percent) and that could still change. Check here for the latest.