Wimbledon 2013: Data Brings us Closer to the Game

So, that’s it for Wimbledon for another year, with a Championships that has seen top-ranking seeds tossed out in the early rounds, eight retirements in a single day, rank outsiders rise to the final stages, and a British man lift the trophy for the first time in seventy-seven years. 127 matches were played in each of the ladies’ and gentlemen’s singles, with a total of 4364 games in for Gentlemen and 2829 for the ladies. IBM SlamTracker followed each and every one.

In the men’s game Jerzy Janowicz served the most aces with 103, and also had the fastest serve at 143mph. Sabine Lisicki was the ace queen of the ladies, with 45, but came second to Serena Williams on serve speeds, at 122mph to 123mph. Novak Djokovic and Tommy Haas played the longest rally, with 37 shots. Yet the ladies weren’t far behind, with a 33 shot rally between Alize Cornet and Flavia Penneta in their third-round match.

IBM will use all the data accumulated at this year’s Championships to make SlamTracker even more accurate in years to come, with the new information joining an existing pool of over 41 million data points gathered over eight years of Grand Slams. The same data will be pored over by players and coaches, as they look for the patterns that might help them win in the future, and for the score-making opportunities they might have missed.

And what works at Wimbledon works in business too. IBM’s Predictive Analytics help organsations across the globe predict shifts in market and customer behaviour, or spot patterns that can help them operate more efficiently or improve their bottom line. Pair the right data and the right analytics, and companies can strategize and make smarter decisions, not just responding to activity, but proactively looking to the future.

IBM analytics are helping Virgin Atlantic boost the number of people searching for flights on their website by 10%. They’re helping Cincinnati Zoo shave hundreds of thousands of dollars from its marketing budget and use promotions more effectively. With help from IBM, the zoo is increasing attendance, planning more efficiently for bad weather and even selling more ice-cream. Meanwhile, the Leicester Tigers Rugby Union club is using predictive analytics to predict and avoid possible injuries, and helping Edinburgh’s Telford College help students at risk of dropping out.

This is also the first year that IBM has deployed Social Sentiment Analytics during the Championships, not just tracking the number of times a player is mentioned on Twitter, but the positive or negative nature of the sentiments expressed. Over five-million Wimbledon-related tweets were posted during the finals fortnight, and Andy Murray was the subject of 400 tweets per second in the last five minutes of yesterday’s final. By the end of men’s final day, more than 93% of those tweets related to the new champion were positive overall.

In tennis, social sentiment analytics help the player and their team engage with fans and work with the media. In business, knowing what your customers and clients are saying about you can help you react to the market, deal with issues and make the most of opportunities when they come.

In business, as in sport, data really is a game changer, and IBM’s analytics solutions can help organisations of any size to win.

For more information on how IBM can help your business, visit Beyond Wimbledon for White Papers, Case Studies and more.

Stuart Andrews