By Dan Graettinger, Sep 2011
As a little summer diversion, we decided to see if Data Mining techniques could be used to predict the results of the TV reality show "Dancing with the Stars." Is it possible to predict the Top 3 competitors, even before the dancers step foot on the floor?
We set to work pulling together data from the twelve previous seasons of DWTS. Knowing the show and what has happened in the past, we started collecting the characteristics of the contestants that our intuition said might be important: age, professional partner, how well-known contestants were, etc. But we also wanted to check out aspects of the contestants that might not seem to be relevant at first, like gender and occupation and marital status. We decided to throw all the data into the mix -- not prejudicing our expectations based on anecdotes, but letting the data tell the story.
And we came up with some really interesting results!