Beyond the Jedi Mind Trick: Using Data Analytics to Link Star Wars Roles to Acting Career Success

December 17, 2015
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Yoda provided an apt description of data analytics when he said, “Already know you, that which you need.” Though he wasn’t referring to data, what Yoda said applies to predictive analytics, since a wealth of actionable information resides within the data at our fingertips. The key is in knowing how to find it, use it, and present it in the most effective manner.

Yoda provided an apt description of data analytics when he said, “Already know you, that which you need.” Though he wasn’t referring to data, what Yoda said applies to predictive analytics, since a wealth of actionable information resides within the data at our fingertips. The key is in knowing how to find it, use it, and present it in the most effective manner. A perfect example is the data visualization created by Analytics@American that compares Star Wars movie revenue to the lifetime box office revenue for 23 of the actors who’ve had roles in the Star Wars franchise.

Data analysts are taught to think critically about information through evidence-based data gathering, data modeling, and quantitative analysis. That’s why Hollywood executives have them on board, to use predictive analytics to make strategic decisions about which films they should put their money on. With the use of historic data — such as the popularity of starring actors, how well the genre is performing, and the box office receipts for previous franchise films — analysts can predict whether or not a film will be a hit.

It’s certainly what they’re predicting for the next installment in the series. “The Force Awakensis expected to shatter records at the box office with an anticipated $650 million in revenue during its opening weekend. The anticipation had an estimated 130,000 Stars Wars fans lining up recently for midnight openings that offered the new versions of Star Wars toys.

Yoda might need The Force to see the future — but data analysts can also predict it in an efficient and reliable way.