Google Cloud Platform on track to predict World Cup winner

Google Cloud Platform on track to predict World Cup winner

Summary: If you're looking for someone to blame over the U.S. soccer team's loss to Belgium yesterday, you can start with Google.


A horse recently (and inaccurately) predicted the United States would beat Germany in their World Cup match up last week.

Obviously, that didn't pan out.

It's unlikely that anyone went back to the equine seer ahead of the knockout round against Belgium on Tuesday, but there was at least one forecaster that got it right.

That would be Google.

The Internet giant is touting how the Google Cloud Platform has been crunching large datasets and statistics (many of which flood Twitter with every kick, goal and penalty in each match) to predict the outcome of each game.

Starting with numbers generated by live sports data firm Opta, Google engineers have employed an amalgam of Google Cloud Dataflow to ingest data, BigQuery to build derived features, iPython and Pandas to conduct modeling, and finally the Compute Engine to crunch the data.

This evolved into a logistic regression approach in predicting the winners versus a poisson regression, according to Mountain View.

And so far, it seems to be working as the Google Cloud Platform has boasted a perfect record in the nail-biting Round of 16.

However, Google engineers also acknowledged there weren't any "any major upsets" this last round either.

For anyone who wants to take a chance on Google Cloud Platform's method, here's a glance at the predictions for the quarterfinals this weekend:

  • Brazil vs. Colombia: Brazil (71%)
  • France vs. Germany: France (69%)
  • The Netherlands vs. Costa Rica: Netherlands (68%)
  • Argentina vs. Belgium: Argentina (81%)

Topics: Big Data, Cloud, Data Management, Google, Google Apps

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  • Nope, Google's not to blame

    The Belgian team beat the U.S. team fair and square. There's no associated controversy, whatsoever, unlike The Netherlands team beating Mexico ...

    o Brazil vs. Colombia: Brazil (71%)

    I'd put this around 50%. Brazil is the only team from last year's Confederations Cup winners (Brazil, Spain, Italy and Uruguay) remaining in the 2014 World Cup and was tied with Mexico during Stage 1 and very nearly upset by Chile in Stage 2. Brazil is on the ropes.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Google Cloud Platform is as reliable as

    trusting an octopus to predict the winner.

    OK - ALMOST as reliable...
  • Bahahaha...

    Super non-sense.
    • Microsoft disagree 25%. They have Germany beating France.
      • Microsoft Vs Google prediction

        Both companies laying out their predictions with different outcomes is a risky bet on whose engine is better...and it looks like Microsoft has the better algos this time. Germany beats France as Bing predicted. Look forward to other encounters when they go head to head. (Bing didn't do so well with The Voice top 2, but got the winner at least)
        • Predictve analysis

          Microsoft's Cortana, using Bing as its engine, apparently predicted the World Cup winners accurately. Better luck next time, Google; but I'm sure they'll eventually improve to the point that Bing isn't still as far ahead (in that category) as it is now...