25 February 2013 3:17 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Nate Silver and others took their statistical analysis to the film industry, but predicting awards might be tougher than elections

While Oscar fans spent Monday checking their pools to see if they picked more winners than their friends, I was wondering whether statistics experts did a good job forecasting the results.

I found four websites that used a variety of statistical methods to predict winners. Ben Zauzmer, a Harvard sophomore, built a model from critics' ratings and results from other awards shows. Farsite used data such as results from other awards shows, the total number of nominations, buzz, and prior nominations for actors and actresses. Nate Silver used awards shows as a kind of pre-election poll average. PredictWise combined prediction markets and user sentiment from games.

All four are at least somewhat affected by past awards shows. The first three make an index from previous awards, while PredictWise puts a »

- Harry J Enten

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