Those of us lucky enough to work at the US Open enjoy the tennis matches, but as the technology provider to the United States Tennis Association, our goal is to provide the best experiences for fans, the media, coaches and players.
We also see major sporting events as a way to illustrate business applications for the technology developed for the USTA. Three new commercials debuted during US Open coverage on CBS, ESPN and the Tennis Channel. They are:
--"Counterfeit" is a 30-second TV commercial that describes how use of Big Data and analytics to verify every component in a finished product, helping one company nearly eliminate counterfeiting.
--"Interview" is a 30-second TV commercial about how Smarter Enterprises use Social Business tools and big data and analytics to understand the right characteristics for each job in order to hire the right person.
--"Watson" describes a series of eight 15-second spots showing how Watson has been busy since its big win on Jeopardy! in 2011, with its advanced cognitive computing power being applied in several industries.
While the US Open showcases great performances, what are the dynamics and strategies that drive these performances? Can analyzing large amounts of data help a player improve from good to great?
We think so. When data is captured and analyzed, hidden tendencies and patterns emerge that are keys to success not only in tennis, but also in business
For example, Andy Murray has been in the Top Four since 2008, but until 2012, he had never won a Grand Slam. In the last 18 months, he's won the Olympics and has been in three of the last four Slam Finals, winning two, the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon.
What changed? The obvious explanation would be to look at Murray's serve, return and winners, but an analysis of the data reveals something more subtle. When Murray's consistency improved in high-pressure matches (quarter finals through finals), he began to win tournaments, so the adjustment was more one of poise and patience than a change to his game.
In addition to analyzing historical patterns and results, analysis of data predicts opportunistic strategies before matches. SlamTracker is an analysis of eight years and 41 million data points of Grand Slam data. Keys to the Match determine the key strategies that will help each player to do well against specific opponents and are tracked in real time throughout the match for fans and media to follow. For the first time this year, SlamTracker also tracks the Twitter sentiment -- or how positive the tweets are for each player -- throughout the match.
Analytics also manages the private cloud infrastructure that supports all of the US Open's digital platforms, providing the ability scale up during the tournament based on schedule, player popularity and social sentiment data.
The goal is to engage the tennis community by enhancing the US Open experience and provide fans, media, coaches and players the information they want, where and when they want it on the right platform.
While the US Open had more than 700,000 visitors in 2012, digital visitors exceeded 12 million. USopen.org spans six different desktop and mobile platforms, with 50 percent the traffic coming from mobile devices. The US Open iPad app, introduced in 2012, was downloaded more than 106,000 times with 7 million pages views.
Fans are also taking advantage of six courts of streaming video across all platforms. Last year more than 8.4 million videos were viewed via the interactive USOpen.org media console and this year we expect to set new records.
Why do we partner with the USTA? The technology we use at the US Open is the same technology we use for clients across industries around the world, helping their results go from good to great. And we're already working on newer technology for next year.