Did Big Data Enable Lloyd’s to Predict France’s World Cup Win? Well, Maybe…

By | July 16, 2018

Ahead of the recent World Cup in Russia, Lloyd’s of London predicted that France would be victorious. And victorious they were – with a 4-2 win against Croatia on Sunday.

Interestingly, Lloyd’s also predicted Germany’s win against Argentina in 2014.

What is Lloyd’s (possibly) infallible system? Well, big data was analyzed to determine the collective insurable value of soccer players – the value of teams, the players and their legs.

While it was all meant to be a bit of fun, a Lloyd’s spokesman said, “interestingly, the insurable value metric has been fairly reliable throughout the tournament, correctly predicting the winners in almost two thirds (64 percent) of the 64 matches played.”

“It was a great tournament this year, with a number of shocks along the way which have put many economic models to the test,” said Victoria de’Ath, an executive in Lloyd’s Class of Business team, in emailed comments.

“Having correctly predicted Germany would win four years ago, we always knew the pressure would be on to get it right again,” she added. “France’s success in the final on Sunday shows that the insurable economic value model has again managed to correctly identify the winner of the tournament.”

The research showed that the total collective value of all teams in this year’s tournament is estimated at £13.1 billion ($17.5 billion), said Lloyd’s and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

Cebr used players’ wages and endorsement incomes, alongside a collection of additional indicators, to construct an economic model which estimates players’ incomes until retirement. These projections formed the basis for assessing insurable values by player age, playing position and nationality.

The analysis enabled Lloyd’s to predict who would qualify from their respective groups. Thereafter, Lloyd’s has plotted the path of each team in the knockout stages based upon their insurable values. The team with the highest insurable value in each match is the team Lloyd’s predicts to win and progress.

One of the research findings was that forwards are the most valuable players with legs worth £19.2 million ($25.7 million) on average.

Will Lloyd’s be pursuing similar research at the next World Cup in 2022? The spokesman would not make any predictions – yet.

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