Competing With Data & Analytics
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There has been more than intuition, skill and experience at play during this opening week of Wimbledon. The most iconic court in the world — Centre Court — is queuing up some interesting analytics that are designed to help fans, commentators, coaches and players better understand — and virtually interact with — this Grand Slam tennis tournament.
Every serve, smash, swish and slam is being monitored, measured, analyzed and reported — in real time. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), in conjunction with IBM, has built two big data analysis systems for tennis that are designed to provide detailed player and tournament insights, and historical comparisons.
According to IBM’s Wimbledon site, the IBM SlamTracker utilizes predictive analytics to mine around 39 million historical data points, including how the tennis elite have played and won in Grand Slam matches over the past seven years. That data is combined with real time data that are mined as matches are played, to provide insights, in part, on what each player needs to do to one up a competitor.
IBM SecondSight is still in trial phase. It was used last year on Court 18 to track how players move on the court. This year, SecondSight is moving on up to Centre Court. Using 3D cameras initially developed by the military, it measures and tracks balls and players in any dimension. SecondSight adds real time analytics from that 3D play to develop game insights. The goal, says IBM: add a new dimension to understanding the science of tennis.
Wimbledon isn’t alone in utilizing a vast array of data gathering technologies to track, measure, analyze and manipulate everything from athletic training regimens to the fan experience.