You might not realize, however, that major sporting events like the US Open are not only exciting to watch and follow, but are also a living lab for how “big data” can translate into big business. This year, the USTA is using business analytics to improve the experience for everyone: fans, tennis players, event organizers and broadcasters.
We’re all asking the same questions about the 2012 Open. What does Sam Stouser have to do to repeat last year’s women’s victory, or how can past winners Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova reign again? What can we expect from the men’s side? With Rafa Nadal sidelined by injury, will past US Open winners Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer win the men’s title? Or will Andy Murray break through, fresh from winning his gold medal at the Olympic Games in London. How can each of them outplay the others to bring home the trophy?
Answering those questions while connecting tennis fans to the action on the court requires a unique digital experience powered by analytics and cloud computing technologies. By offering deeper analysis and a better understanding of how players are performing and ensuring that USOpen.org can handle peak traffic when website demand picks up, my company is helping the USTA serve up an engaging and interactive experience.
For example, SlamTracker is an online dashboard that serves up statistics and information for every match being played. Not only can fans follow live scores, point by point, but they can click on a point on the match’s timeline for additional details. But most importantly, a SlamTracker feature, “Keys to the Match,” provides insight into what each player needs to do in order to have a higher likelihood of winning. We analyzed 39 million data points covering Grand Slam matches over the past seven years to provide analytic assessments of players and what they need to do to succeed.”