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# STATISTICA News and Blogs

## Using Stats to Predict Champions

by Kyra on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 2:16 PM

My name is Kyra Matzdorf and I recently joined the Marketing team here at StatSoft, as an assistant. Before coming to StatSoft, I had never heard of the terms “predictive analytics modeling,” “rules analysis configuration” or “data integration solutions.” And, after being here only a short amount of time, still do not understand statistical analysis any more than I understand the Mandarin Chinese language.

So, when asked to write my first blog post, I became somewhat stumped. Luckily for me, StatSoft showed me that statistics can be found and used in many real-life situations.

The most recent one that I can think of being the Olympics!

One might think that the outcome of the games could not be determined until after the fact. However, using statistical analysis, that might not be the case. For years statisticians have studied sports history to predict upcoming events.

Below is the medal count for the top five countries that competed in the 2004 Olympics:

From this we can see that, overall, America came out slightly ahead; China scored a few more gold medals; The USA is the clear winner of silver and Australia takes the bronze. Now, if the saying “history repeats itself” is true, one can conclude that America would win the overall in the next Olympics too, right?  Let’s see…

Below are the results of the top five countries from 2008:

Our assumption was right—but it was close. The USA beat out China for the overall by only ten medals. Again, China scored more gold medals and America came out with the most silver and, this time, bronze medals.

If America has collected more overall medals in the past two Olympiad, there is a good chance that history would repeat itself again in 2012, right? The games ended last week and the final results are as follows:

America is leads every category. Looking at previous years’ results it was safe to say that America would definitely come out ahead in the overall medal count. This study proves that statistics can be useful in many real-life situations--Also, that America will win every Olympics...just kidding. Maybe. To find out, you will have to report back in four years.  Until then, we will be taking predictions.

Author
Kyra

My name is Kyra Matzdorf and I am the new marketing assistant here at StatSoft. I have no background in analytics or statistics, but rather in writing and communications. So, with this blog, I intend to delve into a variety of topics and find a way to relate them back to statistics. Hopefully, these entries will help broaden the horizons for statistics to the masses. I am excited to learn more about the uses and values of statistical analysis, as well as how I might apply it to my own life. Hopefully your eyes will be opened to a new view on the subject as well!

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