Cricket fans brought the world to life: See for yourself with a new video from the Bing team

Donald Brinkman, a Bing program manager who works on relevance and intent, takes a keen interest in new ways to bring information to life. Data visualization often fits best in terms of how people parse information.

Donald decided to explore who in the world was following the Cricket World Cup and see how Excel’s Power Map feature could do with Bing’s anonymous search logs.

It turns out this was an extraordinary way to bring the tournament to life, and tell some of the stories of the biggest event in the world’s second-most-followed sport.

We hope you enjoy Donald’s video:

Donald worked with Pushpraj Shukla of the Bing Predicts team first to classify anonymous searches by supported team. Bing Predicts had this data because they have been forecasting the outcome of each contest in this tournament – ending by correctly predicting the winner in a remarkable 83% of the games. Donald and Pushpraj then looked at the searches that involved a given team over the course of the tournament.

Using Power Map, a free add-on for Excel based on technology developed at Microsoft Research (MSR), Donald created a series of visual time-lapses of the tournament, telling the story of the online activity of fans of each team. Curtis Wong, a principal researcher at MSR who developed the technology that Power Map is based on, advised Donald and Pushpraj on the project.

Each team was given a color (for example India is purple, Australia is green). Wherever you see that color, it indicates that those fans are searching on Bing.

Here are a few of the cool things the animation shows:

  • Cricket’s a global sport and the fans are a far-flung diaspora
  • India and Pakistan’s fans are passionate. Really passionate. In a city such as London, the fans of India’s team drown out the fans of England. As we expand our view across the city and across the UK, the diversity of the population comes to life.
  • Fans turn to search before, during and after games. They get ready with game times, Bing’s predictions, team selection, pundits’ views, then follow the scorecard and key moments in real-time, and get reflections and highlights (before searching either for the time of the next game or the flight home).
  • You can almost feel the ebbs and flows of national pride at key moments through the data – as India and Pakistan join the competition, as Afghanistan wins its first ever World Cup match, and as co-hosts Australia and New Zealand build to a climax in Sunday’s final in Melbourne which saw Australia take the title for a record fifth time.

We’re fascinated by how the world’s information – and the world’s cricket fans – come to life when we connect the dots.

You can try Power Map for yourself here and start bringing your data to life.

– The Bing Team