This data include nominations and winners of other major award competitions, aggregated critic scores for films and even betting data. Using this information, Zauzmer is able to determine the most significant indicators for each Oscar category.
Overall, the U.K.'s BAFTAs are the best predictor for the Academy Awards, according to to Zauzmer. However, the guild awards for each category — Screen Actor's Guild Awards, Directors Guild of America Awards, The American Society of Cinematographers Awards, etc. — often are the best indicators for individual categories.
He also noted that some categories correlate significantly with other categories. For example, The best director winner is often the best picture winner and the best production design winner is often the best costume winner.
"One [predictor] that people commonly mistake for being a good predictor, that I have thoroughly studied and has just about nothing to do with winning, is box office results," Zauzmer told CNBC. "What the people have to say on the movie, what they vote for with their dollars has pretty much nothing to do with any category."
There is one exception to this, according to the statistician. Box office results have a very slight correlation to the visual effects award, because big visual effects films tend to do well at the box office.
"Interstellar," "Gravity," "Life of Pi" and "Avatar" were all winners of the Academy Award for best visual effects and made more than $600 million globally at the box office.