Automate Your Oscars Pool with R
There are not (surprisingly, I think) any existing programmatic systems for running prediction pools outside of college hoops or fantasy leagues. If you and a group of friends want to have a pool for, say, the Oscars, you're likely stuck with paper ballots or a google doc or an incomplete web based system. The New York Times' online Oscar ballot is great for accepting picks and sharing them with friends, but there's no way to implement blind ballots, calculate standings for your pool during the ceremony, or tailor points per category. And if there were such a program, could it output visualizations that contest with the colorful, dulcet hues of ggplot2? Can anything, really?
So I wrote a program that processes .txt ballots and outputs a visualization of standings for everyone in your pool. I used it for my Oscars pool for the first time last year (here are the full results and picks, with just the plot below) and just posted the code on github, with implementation details.