Big Data. We hear about it a lot these days. But what does it actually mean? And what does it actually do? Well, one way we are utilising the power of ‘big data’ (which effectively just means ‘data’, but lots and lots of it) at Microsoft is through our Bing Predicts engine. It’s an initiative that uses machine-learning models to analyse and detect patterns from a range of (big) data sources such as the web and social activity in order to make accurate predictions about the outcome of events. We’ve correctly predicted the winners of 15 of 16 of the World Cup knock outs in Brazil, and reality TV contests in the US. This time we wanted to see if our models could work their magic on a ‘once in a lifetime’ event like the Scottish Independence Referendum.
Well, we did it. Our model correctly predicted the outcome of the Scottish Referendum: that Scotland would vote “No” and stay in the United Kingdom.
For more information see our Microsoft UK News Centre post