Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog
Big Data Solutions Modernize US Tennis Association
It seems odd to think about warm weather sports like tennis in the middle of the coldest part of the year for the Northern hemisphere, but around the world preparations and competitions continue in more moderate climates. As an international game will millions of players worldwide, national associations must operate despite conditions in their home regions to keep up with the rapid pace of information exchange; and this marriage of modern and traditional has no better example than the prestigious USTA (United States Tennis Association).
Faced with rapidly changing technology a few years ago, the tennis association’s directors began to look at what fans have come to expect from sporting events. Analytics have become a big business in the live entertainment world and failing to keep up could have resulted in any number of unfavorable outcomes for the association, meaning that the time to adapt was at hand. By implementing an enterprise grade cloud computing solution, the people in charge of IT for operations were able to begin the collection of data from millions of sources. Cameras, sensors, record books and more became sources to feed the ever growing analytic systems in place.
The benefits of this switch were seen in two major ways. First, as any sports enthusiast will tell you, the love of statistics is inherent in fandom. By collecting greater amounts of information than ever before, the USTA was able to provide fans and journalists alike with more precise stats in greater quantities, all updated in real time. Secondly, this robust solution allowed for computing solutions to the most pressing problems facing any sports organization: the boom and bust cycle of public interest and web traffic. By being able to predict surges in web traffic around certain events (like the announcement of tournaments) resources can be shifted to handle the increased volumes of ticketing and pageviews without the frustrations of downtime.
Though the game largely remains a one on one contest of skill and endurance as it always has been, modern technologies are bringing the systems behind the scenes into the 21st century to benefit fans, coaches, broadcasters, and players alike. The US Tennis Association seems poised to handle the challenges of today while meeting the needs of tomorrow, all thanks to the infrastructure provided by big data solutions.