Data Analytics Boosting Digital Engagement at Australian Open 2016

Advanced analytics and visualization is enhancing fan experience and operational excellence at Australian Open 2016


Australian Open 2016
will be an unprecedented experience for every fan, thanks to the partnership between Tennis Australia and IBM. The next-generation fan experience will be powered by IBM’s Cognitive, Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social, Security and Systems solutions. Besides fan experience, this technology upgrade will also boost operational excellence (such as making real-time safety decisions).

IBM Analytics is empowering the brand new Tournament Notifications Dashboard – an application that delivers real-time identification and classification of events and statistics from the courts. The dashboard classifies this data into three categories based on its significance – record-breaking, newsworthy, or informational. All these insights are presented to the user in a color-coded, dynamic, and intuitive visualization. The dashboard also has personalization features configurable by Tennis Australia based on location, user preferences, etc.
The player profiles would also have a Tone Analyser feature, which will show whether the tweets about a player are showing more of a cheerful sentiment or a more negative one.
tournament-summary is hosting IBM SlamTracker – a highly engaging statistics and visualization platform with features such as “Keys to the Match” based on predictive analytics assessment of competitors’ historical head-to-head results, individual players’ previous matches, and statistics against comparable opponents. As the match proceeds, fans can track player’s progress against their keys in real-time.
IBM SlamTracker will consolidate real-time match statistics such as aces, wins, errors, etc. with more than 8 years of Grand Slam data (viz. over 41 million data points) to share interesting patterns depicting winning strategies and trends. It will also provide player and ball movement visualization and social crowd sourcing.
slamtracker This year’s tournament will be completely hosted on a cloud. This means all operational loads, including the content delivery network driving digital applications and data services for the Australia Open, are being distributed and dynamically served from four data-centers globally. Tennis Australia expects this move to deliver better flexibility, load balancing and agility around scaling infrastructure up or down based on demand.

It is also noteworthy that Mobile consumption has gained strategic importance as the mobile views of Tennis Australia’s digital properties are now edging over desktop views for the first time.

For reference, here are some interesting Australian Open 2015 Digital and Social Statistics:
  • 14.3 million unique visitors to
  • 24.3 million views across all official AO video platforms
  • 1.2 million unique visitors on the Australian Open mobile app
  • 23 Terabytes of Internet traffic was handled by the network infrastructure, a 136 percent increase on 2014
  • 10,784 games, 68,345 points and 1,128 sets captured, analysed and distributed via the AO scoring system.

Leveraging the capabilities of IBM Watson, these technological solutions aim for an immersive fan experience steered by data-driven storytelling. On the other hand, it enables Tennis Australia’s editorial staff to deliver better content to fans over multiple platforms – in stadium, on desktop, on mobile or on social channels.

On a deeper thought, I hope that the impact of data analytics goes beyond fan engagement and operational improvements. Particularly, it would be great to leverage data analytics to help identify match-fixing (through generating alerts on observing “abnormal” player performance during the game) and keep such scandals away from the world of sports.