Data in sports, who’s doing it right?


Data analytics is starting to become commonplace in some sports, Basketball, Tennis, Golf and to some extent Football have all started embracing data usage as a means to improve players performances and to enhance the fans experience.

CBR provides you with a list of who is and who isn’t using data to their competitive advantage.


IBM has been working with tennis in some form or another for 25 years now. At Wimbledon they provide data on aces, serve speed, winners and other key statistics which are all rendered in real time to give immediate match data. IBM has also been working with the US Open and Australian Open, for these events they provide analytics in a similar way to Wimbledon. One of the tools that IBM provides is the Open Crowd Tracker, which helps fans to navigate around events.

Providing data for the fans is not the only reason behind IBM’s sports analytics, analytics is also made available to players in the hope that it can be used to improve performance. Data obtained by using tracking can be used to analyse plays, this allows players to see how they are performing, view their technique, spot flaws and make improvements.


SAP are aiming to make life simple by using big data analytics tools in everyday life and also in sports. Working within golf, SAP has become the official global partner of the 2015 Solheim Cup. SAP’s HANA analytics will be used to collect data from wearables and sensor technologies, which can then be analysed to improve player performance, training efficiency as well as other improvements.

It is not only player data that is collected but also ball and player position, course layout and weather conditions. The end development will be to improve all players’ abilities from professional to amateur and make a complicated game simpler.


In preparation for the World Cup, the German national team worked with SAP to develop a "Match Insights" software system. The prototype was delivered in March 2014 and the national team has been using it ever since.

Data captured by video cameras around the pitch was turned into information that could be viewed on tablets or mobile devices. The plan was to help the team’s performance and to gain insights into the strenghts and weaknesses of opponents, and clearly it worked as Germany won the World Cup.


SAP’s partnership with the NBA has helped the organisation to quickly analyse and create some of the most detailed sports records you are ever likely to find. Statistics on every player from 1996, every shot, success rate, success rates when opponents are 1 foot away, 2 feet away, 3…the list goes on, you could spend months looking at all the data.

Not only is this data fascinating for the fan and may help resolve many an argument over who is better, Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant (you can compare stats) but the system also has potential for being used for training purposes, scouting and the development of tactics.


Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Favorite list is empty.
FavoriteLoadingClear favorites

Your favorite posts saved to your browsers cookies. If you clear cookies also favorite posts will be deleted.