Data beats at the heart of the Australian Open digital experience

Published January 27, 2017 by lagmen
Data beats at the heart of the Australian Open digital experience

IBM has combined the data of the Australian Open with historical, cognitive, and predictive analytics

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic might be out, but IBM is still in, with the Australian Open tapping its tech to go beyond being just a sports event for spectators to watch from the comfort of their seats.

Now, visitors and online spectators are able to get closer to the action. Together with IBM, Tennis Australia has introduced deeper insights and new digital experiences for fans of the 2017 Australian Open.

As a result of IBM’s expertise in transforming the fan experience at all four tennis Grand Slams and the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, Tennis Australia was able to create what it calls a “unique and engaging experience”.

IBM and The Australian Open have a relationship that spans for more than 24 years, but this year, IBM has introduced further enhancements to the technology on offer for fans at the event and around the world. It banks on the concept of “cognitive”.

The company has combined the data of the Australian Open with historical, cognitive, and predictive analytics to help fans fully comprehend the game. This includes IBM serving new, richer real-time player insights via SlamTracker, available within the mobile app.

For the first time at the tournament, SlamTracker is available through the Australian Open mobile app, offering real-time analytics on players and how they are likely to perform under “pressure situations” within a match, such as a tie break, based on their playing style and historical data.

Australian Open Pressure Situation Barthel Vs. WilliamsAustralian Open Pressure Situation Barthel Vs. WilliamsThe SlamTracker app includes ball and player position data, depth of return in terms of tracking where the ball lands, and how far the players run during the match.

In addition, it showcases “Keys to the Match”, which analyses eight years of Grand Slam tennis data and identifies three key performance objectives for each player, as a result of the analysis of patterns in the data and previous match-ups.

Read more:Pernix and Informatica ink South Australia channel partnershipThe new capability is underpinned by IBM’s BlueMix cloud technology, to facilitate faster delivery of insights and greater scalability.

Bluemix is IBM’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering built on an open compute technology, made specifically for developers to rapidly compose and deploy solutions in a lean start-up fashion.

It is also the home of about 130 services, including offerings like IBM Watson and millions of running applications, containers, and servers.
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Read more:WA government finalises contracts for IT overhaulIBM Interactive Experience GBS partner, strategy, and design lead, Ian Wong, said the Australian Open mobile experience is all about connecting the consumer to the action on the court.

“Similar to other fans increasingly choosing mobile to consume and engage with their favourite sports, moving to a cloud platform gives Tennis Australia the agility it needs to react quickly in order to provide faster and more in-depth insights to fans,” he said.

“Including SlamTracker into the AO app allowed the rich desktop experience to be available to the tennis fan, whether they were travelling, at work or even in the tennis precinct as a second screen to get deeper insight into the matches as they unfold.”

It’s not just the audience that gets the deal. Players too can get access to personal performance data within minutes of a match’s completion, in addition to a video of their game and indexes to individual game statistics.

Read more:Australian Open taps Invigor and Optus for Wi-Fi analyticsAccording to IBM, this lets players and their coaches better analyse and understand their performance in the match.

IBM Watson integration brings this even further for the players and coaches, letting them analyse their performance comparatively throughout their careers and modify training programs based on biomarker data to suit their development.

Ian Wong (IBM Interactive Experience) talks through the enhanced fan experience at the 2017 Australian OpenIan Wong (IBM Interactive Experience) talks through the enhanced fan experience at the 2017 Australian Open“Tennis Australia and IBM are continually focusing on augmenting their experience anywhere and at any time,” Wong said.

IBM has also implemented a solution for journalists and broadcasters to report the game in real-time.

With IBM’s Australian Open TV solution, the media is able to retrieve real-time and historical information via touch-screen tablets. IBM Watson Visual Recognition API also streamlines the publishing process by recognising and tagging players and celebrities in images.

Tennis Australia chief information officer, Primoz Trcek, said this year, it has taken a step further to provide a “full, end-to-end digital experience” to spectators in Australia and around the world and that it all comes down to the data.

“In 2016, more than two million unique visitors accessed the mobile Australian Open site, indicating an increasing appetite to access match stats on the go.

“By offering SlamTracker analytics in the app, specially designed for mobile consumption, we’re ensuring that all fans, whether in the stadium, travelling on the Melbourne tram or watching from the other side of the world, are able to receive up-to-date information in real time,” Trcek added.

Going forward, Wong mentioned that IBM will continue to use cognitive capabilities to make more sense of all the unstructured data around major sporting events and find more personalised ways to present sport to fans.



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