Oh oh – data analytics firm predicts Rugby World Cup 2019!

Image credit: nullplus | shutterstock.com

Just as the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan the usual slew of predictions by sporting gurus are making headlines, but none quite like this.

Alteryx, a firm claiming to revolutionise business through data science and analytics, has ‘utilised’ the power of predictive analytics to predict the outcome of this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Leveraging data from Opta, Alteryx has built a predictive model to analyse every kick, tackle and try from over 1,000 matches worth of international test match data from the last 12 years (including the last three world cups), to predict New Zealand will beat Wales in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.

The linear regression model used, predicts the outcome of each match and the winning margin by targeting the points difference for each game and variables built around the form of each team coming into the match (win percent, tries per game etc), their ranking difference compared to the opponent, and their recent history against that particular opponent (last win/loss margin, win percent). With this model, Alteryx predicts the outcome of the pool matches and the route to World Cup triumph as follows.

Quarter-finals:

  • Ireland to beat South Africa by 7 points
  • New Zealand to beat Scotland by 18 points
  • England to beat Australia by 11 points
  • Wales to beat France by 12 pointsSemi-finals

Semi-finals:

  • Wales to beat Ireland by 7 points
  • New Zealand to beat England by 3 points

Final:

  • New Zealand to beat Wales by 8 points for a third consecutive title.

Alan Jacobson, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Alteryx comments on these predictions; “Whether you need to crunch big data sets or tackle complex analytical predictions to increase percentages, data has become a vital part of both player and game appraisal analysis. From performance data accrued through wireless-enabled wearable activity trackers to predicting training loads or identifying key injury triggers, predictive and spatial tools are changing the way sports are played as teams turn to data to achieve a competitive edge. By building advanced predictive models to exploit past match and individual performance data in order to garner complex insights we can realistically predict New Zealand will be the ultimate tournament winner in Japan.”

Ed: We at Disruptive.Asia will be following up on these predictions. If they prove to be correct it could revolutionise sports betting markets. If not, the reputation of Altryx, and analytics in general, could suffer some credibility setbacks.

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