As Nate Silver, the Godfather of modern predictive analytics puts it, ‘Prediction is both an Art and a Science.’

This year in Cannes we will predict the winners of some of the Lions categories.  It’s a bit of fun really; predictions are powered by looking at the movers and the shakers across agencies in the last 10 years, and this, augmented with social sentiment is used to predict this year’s creative genius.

Predictive technologies are very good at estimating the power of creativity, we are often able to predict the popularity of a new film or product with huge accuracy before it even takes off, but can we turn the gun around and use predictive power to aid the creative process?

 If you are expecting a robot to design your next advert, we are probably a few decades away but already predictive science is being used to work out whether it will hit your target market before you even start really spending your precious advertising budget. At Black Swan our creative team embrace the ability to narrow down the target from “give me a killer idea” to “give me a killer idea that will resonate with 21-23 year olds in London that have been to an American football game, as we predict they are our best target”.

So. Predictive analytics is good at forming a brief. Although a long way from replacing the creative process, it may well replace clients soon…

Follow Black Swan’s predictions, insights and other activity around Cannes Lions 2015 on our Twitter feed: @BlackSwanData

Steve King has worked in tech & data science, man & boy. He puts it down to playing with an abacus from an early age in the depths of Wales, with precious else to do. Now he’s all grown up and as CEO spends his days leading our flagship accounts – zipping regularly from the UK to the US West Coast. He’s one of Black Swan’s founders, citing his sources of inspiration as Nate Silver, standing atop the Gower Peninsular and delivering game changing insights for his clients.