In an article last week, we looked at whether data analytics could help us predict the winner of the world cup. Admittedly, it is unclear whether big data will have any effect in the predictions we make in this field, but the possibility of it being used in something as complex and unpredictable as sports is an interesting prospect. After a press conference yesterday in Brazil, it seems as though the German football team has caught onto this and is not taking big data’s importance in football lightly.

At the announcement, Germany’s manager Oliver Bierhoff, announced that the National Team has been collaborating with SAP and the German Football Association to apply big data, through SAP’s Match Insights software, to assess the performance and training of the team in preparation for the world cup. They will continue to use the software in an early adoption phase for the preparation and post analyses of the matches throughout the duration of the tournament.

“Imagine this: In just 10 minutes, 10 players with three balls can produce over seven million data points,” said Bierhoff. “SAP HANA can process these in real time.  With SAP, our team can analyze this huge amount of data to customize training and prepare for the next match.”

“Today each sports team is looking for innovative ways to gain a competitive edge over its rivals,” continued Bierhoff. “We are representing one of the most successful teams in the world. The DFB is committed to providing the German national team with the best technology to maximize their performance. SAP meets this demanding criterion.”

Moreover, SAP sees the future of big data extending further than just team analysis. The company also said that Match Insights would be useful for the media too.

“Big data is an incredible resource for coaches and players to contextualise information and draw well-informed conclusions to optimise training and tactics,” said Simon Carpenter, Chief Customer Officer at SAP Africa. “It’s high time to make this type of information accessible to sports journalism and the fans as well.”

It is believed that SAP’s software will be rolled out to other teams after the world cup. For now, we will be watching the German team closely this tournament!

Read more here

(Image Credit: LizNN7)

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