How Microsoft is using prediction and polling tools to forecast the election

Who will win the U.S. presidential election?

For David Rothschild, an economist with Microsoft’s research organization in New York, providing continuously updated odds for the major party candidates is a prominent part of his daily job.

Rothschild runs his own website, PredictWise, that hosts his probability forecasts about the outcomes of public contests including political elections, reality shows and sporting events. The predictions stem from his academic research on digital betting markets as well as an evolving and growing trove of online polling, web search and social media data.

“These are different ways that individuals engage with an online system and either implicitly or explicitly answer a question and provide a data point,” Rothschild explains. For PredictWise, he employs a “method of aggregating that data to create forecasts.”