It is April 5, 2018. The Indian Premier League is almost here and everybody is getting excited about one of the world’s major sports event. The teams are leaving no stones unturned to win the trophy and the hearts of the fans. To ensure winning, teams now have started relying on big data. Every team now has a dedicated sports statistical analyst which helps the team to make data-driven decisions, which means that there is no guesswork, no assumptions but decisions are made only after mining and interpreting the available data. This trend is visible in every major sport like basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc.
Today every football stadium is equipped with cameras which record every single move of the players and generates 1.4 million data points per game for the 22 players. This data is then analysed and provided to the managers and performance analysts gain insights about each and every player. Training of the players is accompanied by GPS trackers, acceleration sensors, and heart rate monitors to analyse their training performance and optimize their preparation.
A new term has emerged in cricket known as Criclytics which is a fusion of big data analytics and cricket. The amount of data generated during each match in a year is huge. By analyzing the data generated, the analyst in every team helps in identifying the key performers and potential players for the team. ICC also uses the data to develop important stats for every team and keep the fans engaged in the game. IBM’s ScoreWithData accurately predicted that South African cricketer Imran Tahir would emerge as the power bowler in their match against Sri Lanka. Widen Impact Index provides the correlated and proportional forecasts by leveraging the current as well as historical cricket data as the cricket match progresses. In the future, ICC plans to mine data from social media to gain insights into what interests the fans the most.
Big Data Analytics has now become one of the important tools for decision making in sports. To live up to the hopes of their fans, teams have now started utilizing big data in a smarter and efficient way to achieve the competitive advantage and remain in the game.