Analyzing the 2023 Rugby World Cup with OLAP Cube Technology

Jun 26, 2023

OLAP cube (multi-dimensional database technology), traditionally associated with Finance and Accounting, can be applied to limitless fields of interest, demonstrating incredibly versatility in performing reporting, analytics and even planning tasks. It’s no wonder that by now the “vocabulary” of this technology is part of the mainstream: cubes, cube-modeling, dimensions, slicing-and-dicing, etc. And whether they realize it or not, users everywhere employ this technology’s concepts in their daily work—for example, software like Excel PivotTables and Power BI set up logic in “multiple dimensions” for users to choose from when creating reports, etc. 

In this article, we explore some “scenario planning” capabilities of cube technology by delving into the world of sports, specifically for the 2023 Rugby World Cup tournament. Using our product’s analytical tool (the front end you will see is PARIS Tech’s PowerExcel; the back end, Olation), we’ll examine historical data, team performances, “dream-killers,” and make predictions for the upcoming competition.  

Let’s dive in and discover the intriguing Rugby World Cup insights provided by cube technology! 


The Most Successful Teams in World Cup History: 

Our model—which is not overly complex (but very cool, nonetheless)—begins on the basis of knowing the most successful teams in World Cup rugby history. Taking into account previous tournaments, we assign points based on performance, with a win earning the highest score and non-qualification yielding no points. Analyzing the data, based on overall points, New Zealand stands as the most successful team, with three victories, one second-place finish, and three third-place finishes. South Africa follows closely behind, boasting three wins and two third-place finishes. Australia, England, France, and Wales also secure prominent positions in the rankings. 


Examining Dream-Killers: 

Another fascinating (and pertinent for our model building) aspect of the World Cup is observing which teams have eliminated others from the competition in the knock-out stage. Analyzing results for the past World Cup tourneys, we uncover the “Dream-Killers,” the teams responsible for ending the hopes of others. The way our Rugby World Cup model works, we have also factored in likely “Dream-Killer” matchup results—and, gosh, England does knock out Australia a lot…France, too, perhaps no surprise, given their centuries-long cross-Channel rivalry! (Notably, New Zealand tops the list with 15 knockouts, followed by Australia, South Africa, England, and France. Ireland, despite their strong performances in recent years, has yet to win a knockout match in any World Cup—and thus, sadly, has always been slayed by a Dream-Killer team!) 

So armed, with calculation-based ranking logic over the years, and Dream-Killer suppositions—along with other logic—we proceed to play out different modeling results… 


A Whole Raft of Predictions for the Upcoming World Cup: 

As above, with our modeling technology, we can make predictions for the upcoming World Cup based on different scenarios or versions. Employing a version control concept commonly found in business environments, we can select various possibilities, to which we given clever names.  

For example, in the “Southern Scorcher” version, Southern Hemisphere teams dominate the pool stages, with South Africa and Ireland progressing as the top two teams. However, South Africa ultimately triumphs over Australia in the semifinals and goes on to claim the championship, continuing their undefeated streak in the finals.

In the “Northern Take-all” version,  Northern Hemisphere teams showcase their prowess, with Scotland securing second place in the so-called “Pool of Death.” In a surprising twist, Ireland emerges as the tournament victors by defeating France in the final, resulting in an all-Northern Hemisphere semifinal lineup. As aficionados surely know: this outcome would mark a significant upset, as Ireland has historically struggled to advance past the quarterfinals.


Exploring Potential Upsets:

Our technology allows us to explore upset scenarios in the World Cup. In this analysis, we consider the possibility of Japan, a strong contender, causing a major upset by eliminating Argentina in the pool stage. Additionally, we propose another surprise, envisioning France defeating defending champions South Africa. Such outcomes would significantly alter the tournament landscape and captivate rugby enthusiasts worldwide. (Amusingly: they would also have to be accounted for in any further modeling, which is exactly what businesses need to do, i.e., model and then re-model based on changing “Actuals.”)



OLAP cube technology (aka multidimensional aka analytics database) offers a captivating, powerful approach to examining all kinds of data, whether for business or…for the Rugby World Cup! For this tournament, we can integrate historical data, predict outcomes, and identify potential upsets, all according to hypothetical scenario plan models. By utilizing our powerful tool, we gain valuable insights into the performance of individual teams and how they will “play out” within the overall dynamics of the tournament, all according to scenario selections. And, as you will see, we can add any scenarios you like—PLEASE JOIN US IN MAKING PREDICTIONS, ETC.  (let’s add the participation instructions here)

As the 2023 Rugby World Cup approaches, we can feel the anticipation building—fans eagerly await to see which scenarios will unfold on the grand stage of the Rugby World Cup.