Predicting the Bake Off Winner

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As Bake Off fans, the team at Marketing Metrix wondered if it was possible to predetermine which contestant would win this year’s series. But as data scientists, their curiosity stretched further than a gut feeling. So the boffins decided to use Big Data techniques to develop an algorithm that predicts the
types of contestants most likely to reach the final and win the competition.

The formula yielded some interesting results.

Mothers aged 30 to 40 and retired women with a passion for pastry have an over 90% chance of reaching the final when compared to other contestant types. Whereas if you’re a young working male residing in the South East of England with a preference for baking biscuits, the odds are against you! And it may be best to keep that application form at the back of the cupboard… behind the hundreds and thousands… underneath the rolling pin.

So what about this year’s contestants?

This year’s contestants were deemed the most eclectic mix yet. Prior to the start of the series the baker’s dozen were run through the formula and ranked in order of their likelihood of reaching the final. With Nadiya at the top of the class our analysts decided to put their support behind her as they followed each episode with anticipation.

And as we know, Nadiya won. 

How was the formula developed?

Information was compiled about each of the 59 contestants and 44 episodes from series one to five to form one dataset. This dataset was then audited to reveal a bit more about the contestants and assess if there were the correct ingredients for an algorithm. The audit uncovered some interesting demographic results. With 57% of contestants being female they were fairly evenly spread in terms of gender, the majority of contestants were in full time employment whilst on the show and the mean average age was 38. In terms of their favourite thing to bake, contestants tended to prefer cakes as opposed to bread, pastry or biscuits and 29% claimed to be completely self-taught.

Could you reach the final?

Try out the quiz below to discover where you place. Give it a go, there’s muffin to lose!



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