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England v Ireland Data Predictions

Six Nations Data Analytics and Predictions – The Information Lab Ireland

Back in late January, the third annual Six Nation’s Data Analytics and Predictions event took place at the Herbert Park Hotel in Dublin.

The event is organised and run by data analytics company The Information Lab Ireland and showcases the power of Data and Data Visualisation in sport and business.

This year’s #6ndata panel featured former Irish rugby internationals Gordon D’Arcy and Bob Casey as well as Newstalk’s rugby expert and former Leinster out-half, Andy Dunne. The analysis and visualisations were presented by Rob Carroll of The Information Lab Ireland.

Audience Predictions

An integral part of the event was the collection of match result and points difference predictions from attendees.

On the night we were able to present audience predictions against our predictions and show the differences between those informed by data and those that weren’t. Obviously this being sport we had to wait to see who was right but it was great to be able to include the audience in this year’s event.

In our last post on the topic, we highlighted predictions for the then upcoming game against Wales. This time round, the audience missed out guessing (on average) that Ireland would win by two points. Our analysis suggested six and in the end the winning margin was just ten. But given that the Welsh try came very late in the game we were moments away from being all very wide of the mark. This week we turn our attention to the game against England.

The visualization that you can see in the MP4 video (above) was put together by Daniel Ling, a consultant with The Information Lab Ireland. It utilises the beta functionality of the upcoming Tableau release (2020.1), due in Q1 2020, to show the transition from the overall average of all participants’ predictions and then breaks this down by individual predictions.

The large dot to start with is the overall audience prediction (+8 for England) with each smaller dot showing an individual audience prediction (there are some wildly optimistic winning margins as you can see…you never know)

The simple visualisation uses both the new feature of mark transitions to visually show this breakdown and set actions to actually split the data from the overall to the individual.

Predictions from The Information Lab Ireland

Our predictions (this week we are saying England by 4) were arrived at by looking at all historical results in international rugby union. That’s a staggering 150 years of data. Obviously, the strength of teams was taken into consideration. Beating New Zealand, for instance, was weighted more positively than beating Namibia. More recent years were also given more weight and thus form could also be factored into the prediction.


Who/What is…?

The Information Lab Ireland

The Information Lab (“TIL”) is a Gold resale partner of Tableau and Alteryx and offers related consulting and training across seven territories in Europe. TIL has offices in Ireland, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Clients include Coca-Cola, Close Bros Bank, PepsiCo, Deloitte, UBS, Solar Turbines & Boston Consulting Group. The Information Lab has worked with Close Brothers Bank to support their use of Alteryx for compliance with IFRS 9.

The Information Lab Ireland is at the forefront of creating a data-driven culture in Ireland. As part of its vision, The Information Lab Ireland regularly hosts free events throughout the country to show how being data-driven can improve decision making and lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

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