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Data Analytics & Management

Deloitte's digital World Cup oracle sees Germany in the final

Germany vs. Brazil - the Deloitte Analytics Institute's World Cup oracle bets on these two matching up in the finals. Unlike its deceased predecessor, the octopus Paul, however, this oracle relies on data.

20 Jun. 2018 Dirk Bongardt
Source: Deloitte

The consulting firm Deloitte dares to predict soccer results: in addition to the final match between Germany and Brazil, its digital oracle predicts that the German team will clearly dominate their preliminary round and that the team from Columbia will make it to the quarter-finals. "Our forecasting tool makes predictions about the outcome of all the matches through to the World Champion by combining various factors such as team ratings (ELO system), historical and current results and the venue," said Olaf Peter Schleichert, partner and director of the Deloitte Analytics Institute.

Machine-generated forecasts based on comprehensive data are usually deployed in other contexts: for example, learning-capable software can analyze formidable mountains of data to predict the wear and tear on machinery and equipment, and thus schedule the necessary maintenance to prevent the occurrence of production downtime. Algorithms are more likely to be used elsewhere for sports: rather than predicting results, "robotic journalists" are now capable of processing the vast amount of data generated during competitions into a readable text of a quality that readers are no longer able to differentiate from the work of human editors.