Big Data powers the biggest sporting spectacle of the year

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 8, 2016, 12:13 pm IST
Updated Aug 8, 2016, 12:17 pm IST
From predicting winners to training athletes to keeping the Zika virus at bay, Big Data is an integral part of the upcoming Rio Olympics.
The total IT budget for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro is $1.5 billion and all of the games data is stored on the cloud.
 The total IT budget for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro is $1.5 billion and all of the games data is stored on the cloud.

Chew on this. The total IT budget for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro is $1.5 billion and all of the games data is stored on the cloud. Back in 2012, the London Olympics became the first Big Data driven sporting event where 60GB of data were transferred and 30,000 tweets were sent every second. 15 terabytes of data were generated every day by sports enthusiasts around the world. This year, these numbers are set to become a joke.

Big Data powered medal table

 

Even before the games begin in Rio, Big Data is being used to predict winners. For instance, Gracenote, a global provider of entertainment data, is leveraging its Big Data and predictive analytics expertise to provide detailed predictions that reveal which countries will top the medal tally, specific athletes who will emerge winners as well as an overall medals tally. According to Gracenote, it has used performance data from thousands of events in addition to data from an extensive Olympics database dating back to 100 years, to create what it calls a ‘Virtual Medal Table’, which is essentially a dashboard which presents these results in an intuitive manner. Broadcasters, sports websites and mobile providers will use data from this dashboard and personalize results for audiences from their respective countries.

Analytics-based athlete training

It is not just third-party providers who are using Big Data at the Rio Olympics. The coaches of various countries are enhancing their training programs by using analytics data of their players. For team sports, analysis of historical player performance data, performance trends against specific competition, and fitness statistics are sourced through data analytics. For non-team sports, predictive analytics is used to identify who a particular athlete is pitted against, his/her strengths and weaknesses, insight into past strategies, and most importantly, to enhance fitness based on trends. Simply put, Big Data Analytics connects an athlete to his/her strengths and provides a mirror to his/her sporting abilities.

No entry for Zika!

Thousands of Brazilian officers and dozens of non-profit organizations are involved with the Rio Olympics, to ensure a disease-free games season. With looming threats of the Zika virus, as well as Dengue and Chikungunya, officials are leveraging social data to combat viruses. IBM is helping the organizing committee by leveraging Big Data Analytics to crowd source data from social media, such as organizing and arranging huge amounts of online data, including the frequency and distribution of social media comments and conversations about Zika and other viruses. IBM is also using its cloud computing backbone to analyze Portuguese-language Twitter postings about the virus as well as GPS-enabled data around the prevalence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads the Zika virus. All of this data is synced up with other auxiliary data like weather, location of airports around Brazil where potential Zika infected people are quarantined, and other high-risk areas to identify outbreaks, earmark high-risk areas and prevent probable infection to athletes as well as the global audience that descends on Rio.

These are just some of the ways in which the Big Data is playing its part in the biggest sporting event of the year. Do you have any ideas of how Big Data can be used in sporting events or for better public health? Feel free to write your comments below.

This article originally appeared at www.edureka.co and is authored by Vishnu Anand, IndiaTechOnline.





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