Action! Mobile Data Collection and the Academy Awards

Feb 26, 2014 in Mobile

The 86th Academy Awards are set to air this Sunday, March 2, and as the preceding year in movies will soon reach its glamorous peak at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, we’re tackling the exciting intersection of data collection and the Oscars.

The fact is, when the Oscars come to town, Hollywood simply overflows with high-profile galas, and mobile data collection tools are doing plenty of the legwork to reduce event planning and execution headaches. Take the Zkipster guest list app, which will replace burdensome stacks of paper on clipboards and minimize entrance lines at several Oscars-related functions. The Los Angeles Times notes that the cloud-based mobile application syncs with zFace “to append photographs of people to guest lists, allowing party organizers to confirm the identities of prospective attendees.” This means that organizers can check in guests “with the confidence that partygoers are who they say they are.”

The rise of Zkipster and similar applications is all part of a corner of the mobile data collection revolution recently highlighted by The New York Times: “In recent years, tablet-equipped doormen have become increasingly prevalent, as have services aimed at smoothing the snarls of event management.”

Beyond the red carpet, plenty of parties will take place in homes across America on Oscars night. According to Nielsen, 40.4 million viewers tuned in to the telecast in 2013. The Oscars are no Super Bowl, but the show was still the only non-sports event to make Nielsen’s top 10 telecast list for 2013. And as we saw with the Olympics, a variety of mobile applications will be available to enhance the viewing experience. ABC has its official Oscars app, replete with exclusive video feeds and updates. And further afield on the news front, there is the Hollywood Reporter: Race to the Oscars app, which also allows users to vote on nominees and provides access to an abundance of movie trivia, as well as Oscars-related Twitter and blog feeds.

Fan votes can provide one indication of Oscar winners, but for a more scientific approach—one that we also looked at to predict Olympic medal counts—data mining can also work to forecast outcomes. So, it comes as no surprise that such techniques are used to predict the Academy Awards. In 2013, Brandwatch, a social media monitoring and analytics tool, filtered social media data by critical reaction and popular acclaim to predict the winners. The firm’s model proved successful, correctly predicting 15 out of 18 awards.

Notably, a Brandwatch article following the 2013 Oscars celebrated the fact that “[T]his project shows that social media, with the right guidance, is a credible data source for identifying future outcomes.” Indeed, here at GoSpotCheck, we embrace the potential of real-time analysis to empower future results. Our focus on structuring data to bring users to actionable insights means better, more efficient business—every day.