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Hitwise Intelligence - Tim Lovitt - AP

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Predicting Masterchef

August 12, 2011

Predicting winners is big business, whether in business, at the track, or a punt between friends.

To quote the abstract of Prediction Markets in Theory and Practice by Justin Wolfers and Eric Zitzewitz, “market-generated forecasts typically outperform most moderately sophisticated benchmarks”.

In this case, the Australian public is the market, all those individuals curious enough to run searches in relation to the Masterchef.

My curiosity lead me to have a look at the data last Friday before the final – and I’m happy to say that between then and the Sunday night final, my prediction was heard by friends, family and everyone at the Saturday RMIT Masters of Designlecture: Kate to win.

How did I do it? Well, it’s more hypothesis than even theory at present, but it focuses on search habits over time.

Firstly, it’s important to establish that there has been consumer demand, as manifested by searches. There was, graphed below.

Variations of masterchef-02.png

Separate to the prediction, it’s interesting to note the difference in this over the last three years, especially in light of David Mott’s commentary on differing audience numbers over the years, as 2011 interest seems to be down by 50-odd percent compared to 2010.

In this instance, (12 rolling weeks, to week ending 6 August 2011), Kate had almost 50% more searches than Michael. Given the Law of large numbers (the Hitwise sample size 3,000,000±) this isn’t an issue of who is saying what, but around the overall volume of individual searches. In this instance, Kate was winner, just as she was on Sunday night.

Could you have made a guess as to the winner without this information? Yes. Could you make a more educated guess with a higher degree of certainty thanks to this research? We think so.

For more on predictive data, consumer insights and sentiment analysis, contact Hitwise today.

Experian Hitwise. Now you know.

Posted by Tim Lovitt at 05:09 PM | (0)
In Categories Masterchef | Power of Search | Prediction

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