Data Stories: Analytics and the Olympics
It’s just a few weeks until the games begin in Rio! Read about one company predicting the winners, see how technology has changed the ways viewers engage, and reflect on more than a century of achievement.
- By Lindsay Stares
- July 20, 2016
Predict the Medalists
The entertainment data company Gracenote is using a complex algorithm which combines past results with athletes’ recent performance data to predict the winners in every 2016 event. The results have been updating monthly as the games approach and are displayed on the Virtual Medal Table. As this is a product that Gracenote is selling, there isn’t much freely available information on the methodology, but you can click into the demo table for a closer look at their projections for each country.
Mobile and Social Change the Fan Experience
Social media giant Facebook has released the results of sponsored research into how people plan to participate in this year’s games. The amount of video and news consumed on social media has risen dramatically in recent years, so it follows that Facebook expects the Olympics to make a splash. The data indicates that younger millennials are more likely than others to follow updates on Facebook and Instagram, and half of all interested fans plan to watch video replays of the 2016 Olympics on a mobile device.
The full infographic includes demographic information, fans’ favorite sports around the world, and highlighted insights for how marketers can align their strategies to engage with fans.
Compare Winners Across History
During the 2012 games, the New York Times created three fascinating videos based on athletic records. They use virtual models to show how the 2012 winners compare to all medalists since 1896. You can clearly see that the winner of the 2016 100-meter sprint, Usain Bolt, is the fastest Olympian ever. The video shows when various records fell and how historic Olympians compare to today’s young athletes.
The other two videos explore the history of the 100-meter freestyle and the long jump. The charts below each video give further details about each athlete’s record and country of origin.
Lindsay Stares is a production editor at TDWI. You can contact her here.