Sports is a passion for many across the globe. However, for Indians there is one sport in particular that is more than passion. It’s a religion that trumps all others and it’s called ‘Cricket’ – it’s a unifying force like no other. So why am I talking about Cricket given there’s so much information about this beautiful game already out there.
Well, to start with the World Cup is currently on and the excitement all around is palpable. Of late, I’ve been intrigued about how Cricket is evolving for the viewer, organizer, players, advertisers, ground staff and everyone involved in the game. Yes, Cricket, Social Data and Analytics are coming together leading to possibilities never before imagined.
Cricket has always been a breeding ground for data buffs with the multitude of statistics discussed and debated before, during and after a cricket match. This traditionally has been done using static data to come up with interesting infographics, blogs, charts. Today, we live in a social world like never before with the power and magnitude of social displayed through our networks, impact and influence. With the advent of social networks and social media feeds, we have unstructured data sources which combined with analytics opens a whole new window of possibilities.
My social data gives me information on my favourite cricketers regularly based on what is said about them in the social world. What if this real time data is combined with sentiment analytics to help advertisers determine if a particular cricketer is marketable to a certain demography, segment, age group of viewers tuning in at a certain time and those are sure to lap up the advertisement? Advertisers would then know when a particular kind of viewer would most likely watch a particular advertisement and make changes real time to positively impact viewership.
What if social data combined with information from IBM CrowdTracker together helps the World Cup tournament organizers understand where are the long queues to enter the stadium. Once they have this insight, they can immediately open additional gates, ticket scanners, crowd control management personnel, merchandise selling personnel to ensure long queues are a thing of history through real time data. Additionally, using social media information on best routes can be shared with fans who are yet to arrive at the stadium thereby ensuring they avoid crowds.
IBM being a leader in the space of Social and Analytics is right in the thick of things having been associated with major sporting events such as ‘The Masters’, US Open, Wimbledon to engage the audience, helping organizers build momentum coming into a tournament. In fact at the ‘Australian Open’ this year, the IBM CrowdTracker on IBM Analytics provided an enhanced fan experience and helped the organizers improve their operations and business success.
With Watson analytics, IBM can now provide the cognitive analytics by understanding human interaction over social media to make informed suggestions based on unstructured social data. This also means fans can interact by asking questions to the Watson engine regarding the game, facilities, tournament. Organizers can prepare in advance, or make quick adjustments based on information coming out real time and lots more.
This year, IBM India has tied up with Wisden where IBM’s cutting edge Analytics capabilities combined with Wisden’s proprietary ‘Impact Index’ is providing unique insights & experiences during this World Cup for the fans and organizers. There is a lot for us as fans and IBMers to contribute here.