Oscar Mania: Big Data predicts the Big Night winners

Yes, Big data has done it again. Trumping last year’s score of 5 out of 6, the data geeks at Farsite have hit the Bulls’ eye this time around, successfully predicted all 6 winners in the top categories at the Oscars. The analytics division of the Columbus-based Information Control Corp ICC, Farsite, has caught the eye of the industry and gamblers alike by showcasing the strength of Big Data in forecasting the outcome of future events. The success has underlined their analytical prowess and proved that last year’s heroics were no fluke.

So how do these guys go about their job?  The statistical model incorporates a mix of traditional data combined with current trends. This is how it happens:

  • Historical data is collected for the past 40 years which pertains to the movie industry in general, and Academy Awards in particular.
  • The concurrent and copious variables include – release date, runtime of the film, theme of the movie, and characterization. The number of nominations in each category, nominees’ past nominations and w
    inning performances are also included.
  • Another important and influential factor in predicting the results is the score card of nominees at other guild awards. These awards include:  Director, Producer and Actors’ guild awards, BAFTA awards, Golden Globe and Critics choice awards.
  • The voting pattern of approximately 6000-odd jury members is closely tracked across all previous awards and the predictive model comes out with definite winners.
  • The opinion polls and buzz in social media is not completely irrelevant, but not as useful data as desired. The number of ‘followers’ on Twitter and ‘likes’ on Facebook might not impress our data scientist a great deal. The reason is simple: the public and critics opinions do not translate into a ‘Vote’.

The data scientists are finding operational meaning in the Big Data and the Big Night – because the prediction of the Academy Award Winners is just one of those easy-to-understand and “you-know-what-I-mean” ways of delivering a result. Undoubtedly there is tremendous hype around the analytical use of Big Data for purposes ranging from enhancing customer experience to creating liveable cities. Hospitals are engaging in more resourceful ways of treating their patients and farmers innovating to keep up the quality of crops for commercial absorption. The future certainly holds a lot of surprises that Big Data is going to throw at us. Or maybe there will be no surprises at all – because everything will be accurately predicted before-hand.  “All will know all”.



  • Niyi

    Big data and its invasive power.
    Now, anything and everything is predictable!!!