The US Open tennis fan experience has improved remarkably thanks to real-time data and insights. So has player insight and match preparation. As SolomonBI.com strives find hidden gems to drive revenue or reduce costs and time for our clients, we are impressed what IBM has done for the sport of tennis, providing a practical and adoptable example of how data should direct action.
Fans, commentators, coaches and players are afforded a wealth of data and insight into every match during the tournament. This year, IBM has launched the Cognitive Scoreboard (an upgrade to the IBM SlamTracker first introduced in 2008) and provides fans with the hands-on customer experience they crave by creating a data dashboard for player match-ups, temperament, trends and more. Fans and pseudo-coaches can chart progress as the match is played in near real time, virtually putting them into the coach’s shoes.
The “Keys to the Match” are created using predictive analytics and offer fan-friendly insights into a match by identifying the key performance indicators that will likely affect a player’s performance, specific to each match. Each player on court must work out for themselves how they will adapt their play to win. During the match, fans are able to use the IBM SlamTracker to monitor a player’s progress against their keys to evaluate if they are doing what the data suggests they should. The data dump the pro’s can now analyze easily point out where they should direct shots at the most critical times in a match.
Similarly in business, information about a customer’s activity is captured and combined with customer records and details about products and services to develop decision models. These models are then used to make real-time operational decisions, for example to calculate the next best action that the organization should take with a particular customer. Such actions aim to maximize retention (for example, by using a promotion or customer service) and increase customer lifetime value (by cross- or up-sell) by responding to customer needs and sentiment during the interaction or through events, attributes or other signals that suggest the likelihood of a specific outcome.
When actions are taken in business, the outcome must be captured to measure the benefits. Such data also offers insight for further performance improvement.
Imagine what this approach could do for your business today; what “keys” are most important for you and your clients? How are you measuring success and using data to inform the decisions and actions your business needs to make to see predictable growth and profitability.
These are some of the things you can be thinking about while watching any high level sporting event, whether it be tennis or anything else.