Big Data + Sports = Big Win?


A recent article on once again revealed the endless big data application possibilities - now in the arena of sports! In August, the NFL teamed up with software company SAP to launch a fantasy football analytics tool that allows for fantasy footballers to access historical and third-party data about their favorite sports teams. Just after, the NBA commissioned SportVU- a high-accuracy player and ball tracking system that can access 25 data points from each player every second-  to be used in all games in 2014 with the results freely available to all teams. Another sports technology called ClearSky employs wearable wireless sensors to gather 1,000 data points per second on each player and has already been adopted by handball teams in Norway.

The application possibilities of this data are immense. Teams can analyze game results to see patterns in specific players performance, quantify the value of particular plays, and gain insight into their competition’s weaknesses. So what will this mean for the future of sports? Will the teams’ ability to bring their performance to a whole new level of heightened ability and precision make the games more thrilling or more predictable? Will the scientification of sports kill the thrilling experience that has attracted people to sporting events for thousands of years or will it serve to engage fans further?

And finally the ever-present question- are these sports leagues going too far or are they simply riding the wave of the big data boom in order to capitalize on the inevitable?

You can read the entire article here: