Friday, 20 March 2015 06:29

More data than ever at Cricket World Cup 2015 Featured

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"It was that far from off stump" - Richardson and Gilchrist in Melbourne yesterday "It was that far from off stump" - Richardson and Gilchrist in Melbourne yesterday

Software vendor SAP has built a data engine for the International Cricket Council to ‘bring fans closer to the action’ at the Cricket World Cup.

Cricket is the most statistical of games, generating masses of data. No statistic is too arcane for ardent cricket fans.

The ICC Cricket World Cup is one of the largest sporting events in the world. This year’s version of the quadrennial event, being held in Australia and New Zealand, is the biggest yet, and it has more data available than ever before.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has employed SAP to develop a system based on SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform and Lumira software to “enhance the fan experience” by analysng ball-by-ball match data in real time, providing fans with statistics and historical insights for matches on the ICC Match Centre website.

SAP has flown dozens of technology and sporting journalists from around the world to look at the technology and attend the second quarter final, between India and Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.

he ICC’s chief executive officer, former South African wicketkeeper David Richardson, and former Australian cricket superstar Adam Gilchrist explained what the technology means for the game.

“This year’s tournament has been the most digitally advanced in ICC Cricket World Cup history, including three million downloads of the official mobile app,” said Richardson. “Our website used to have the laws of cricket and playing conditions – it was not fan oriented.

“Now visits of increased 5000%, with 38 million unique visits this tournament. It has created greater affinity with fans and improved the fan experience.

“The event web site is fully responsive, adapting to all devices, with cutting-edge design making all the tournament’s details accessible, informative and engaging for cricket fans all around the world. The Match Centre houses the fastest live scores available anywhere online.”

Gilchrist was enthusiastic about the system. “When you’re a player you’re in a kind of bubble. If you can win and are successful, that’s how you engage with fans. Fan experience of vital importance.

But fans really want to know what’s happening. With cricket, statistics are very important. Except the data says Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is the best wicketkeeper batsman – I’m not required in my household any more,” he joked.

“The data also makes it possible to do a much better job as a commentator – the information is all right there in fron of you.”

“T20 cricket has attracted new fans to the game,” said Richardson. “Females, young kids – stats help bring game alive, they don’t want cricket jargon. They want to know what’s happening.”

For the first time in ICC Cricket World Cup history, SAP is providing 40 years of ICC Cricket World Cup historical statistics to fans. This data is featured on the ICC Match Centre and offers fans new ways to compare past and present team and player performance.

By utilising the predictive capabilities of the SAP HANA platform, it is now possible to help identify some of the best bowlers and batsmen at the ICC Cricket World Cup based on the analysis of multiple statistical criteria.

Over the last few years, SAP has increased the company’s focus to help transform the media, sports and entertainment industries with innovative technology to help drive team and player performance, increase fan engagement and simplify league and venue operations. Today, SAP is successfully collaborating with a number of well-known sports organisations and associations.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 organising committee is also using the SAP Business One application to run the business and administration side of the tournament.

Financial controller Luke Spano said: “When we started to look for a system, the key things for us were that it had to be dynamic, flexible and have the ability to report across different budget levels, across three different currencies – Australian, New Zealand and US dollars.”

“As we got closer to the tournament we had to make decisions instantly. And now we are in the midst of it, we can’t be affording to wait before we act. Having real-time data and insight is empowering all of our business groups to make the accurate and immediate decisions that are crucial to the success of the ICC Cricket World Cup.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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