Data Visualization A visualization of each participating country's World Cup chances.

Published on May 29th, 2014 | by Travis Korte


Predicting the World Cup Winner with Data Visualization

The FIFA World Cup begins on June 12, but analysts are already confident that Brazil, the host country, has a major edge against its opponents. New York-based software engineer Andrew Yuan created a visualization to accompany his analysis, which shows that Brazil is about three times as likely to come out on top as the next most likely team, Spain.

The intuitive visualization shows each team’s hypothetical chances to make it through each stage of the bracket and win the final match. The underlying analysis pulls data from over 40,000 past matches and over 45,000 ranking positions, as well as geographical data on how well teams performed in hundreds of locations. Not surprisingly, the amount by which a team outranks its opponent is a good predictor of victory, so this is the key variable upon which forecasts for individual match-ups are based.

Take a look.

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About the Author

Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.

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