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Aware March Madness Collaboration Study Finds Office Picks on Par with Vegas Odds

by Aware

Employee Collective Proves Highly Accurate Based on Collaboration Data

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 3, 2023 - Aware, a leader in collaboration intelligence, has analyzed over 400 million anonymized employee conversations in online collaboration environments between February 1 and March 31 to provide insights on the NCAA March Madness tournament. The study is part of ongoing research to evaluate conversational data for broader insights into employee sentiment and the crossover between organizational intelligence and business impact.

The Aware Data Science team analyzed employee sentiment surrounding each NCAA team, comparing it against Vegas bookmaker odds to determine if there was a correlation. The research was conducted using the Aware collaboration intelligence platform and proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) models which identify, analyze and deliver contextual intelligence sourced directly from the authentic voice of the employee in real time collaboration environments including Slack and Teams.


Key Findings include:

  • Conversations about March Madness began well before March indicating a high level of employee engagement prior to the actual start of the tournament.
  • Employee engagement related to March Madness was highest on weekends, indicating collaboration tools are in heavy use to facilitate co-worker conversations about popular events even outside of work hours.
  • Over 60% of employees described their brackets as busted after the first day of the tournament.
  • Conversations spiked on March 16, day one of the tournament, as employees encouraged each other to join groups and submit brackets in office pools.
  • Bookmaker odds and employee social sentiment were on par, and closely aligned, suggesting insights at scale in the workplace were as accurate as the projections of professional oddsmakers.
  • Of the teams that made the Sweet Sixteen, outliers Florida Atlantic and Gonzaga had higher sentiment trends than their relative odds, while Alabama had significantly lower sentiment. This indicates that employees may be championing these teams despite their odds.
  • During the week of March 26, conversations about Florida Atlantic and UConn soared, as did conversations related to the Women’s NCAA tournament.

“The data surprised us with unexpectedly high correlations between workplace sentiments and the actual outcomes of the NCAA tournament,” said Jason Morgan, PhD, and Head of Data Science at Aware. “When compared against the Vegas odds and other predictors, our models found a high degree of accuracy coming from the collective voice of the employee across collaboration channels where people where highly engaged, talking, sharing, and emoting about their March Madness predictions.”

“Look at the information gleaned from the employee voice on March Madness and imagine applying the same degree of accuracy to understanding business-critical insights,” said Jeff Schumann, CEO and founder of Aware. “Collaboration channels are a trove of highly accurate organizational intelligence if businesses can leverage the data, listen, analyze, and apply their workplace intelligence to inform their operations. But too often companies can’t get their ear to the ground and are fixated on generating content, rather than listening.”

For more information about Aware and its solutions, please visit:

About Aware

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Aware is a global leader in contextual intelligence that identifies and reduces risk, maintains compliance, and uncovers new business insights from conversations at scale. Consolidate, enrich, search, and manage data across tools like Slack, WorkJam, Teams and Zoom for immediate visibility across the organization. Aware's comprehensive platform empowers executives with organizational insights, while also helping legal, compliance, information security, and IT professionals to address the modern challenges of enterprise collaboration: archiving, monitoring, DLP, eDiscovery, retention and legal holds. Aware is a strategic platform integration partner to Microsoft, Slack, and Workplace from Meta. AstraZeneca, Memorial Health System, Sun Life Financial, BT Group, Farmers Insurance and Mercado Libre are among the global business leaders that trust Aware for contextual intelligence. Aware is consistently recognized by Gartner analysts as a market leading vendor, distinguished in 2022 reports: Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving; Market Guide for Insider Risk Management Solutions; Market Guide for Voice of the Employee Solutions; Vendor Identification for Data Loss Prevention Toolkit. Learn more at 

Media Contact;
Lee Regal
Lumina Communications for Aware

Topics:Employee ExperienceArtificial Intelligence/Machine LearningPress ReleaseEnterprise Collaboration