A Closer Look at How Data Can Play a Pivotal Role in FIFA World Cup 2018

The amount of data available to be mined during a major tournament is almost unbelievable. If companies and analysts would harvest and utilise the data well, it would benefit them greatly. Google usually has a dedicated team where they provide FIFA insights by leveraging real-time search data to curate sharable facts and visuals for users to enjoy.

From June to July 2018, a total of 64 live FIFA World Cup matches will be broadcasted to approximately 3.2 billion people across the world. FIFA has spent $241 million (RM974 million) in making sure that people across the globe will get the chance to tune in to the World Cup matches. Beyond that, the World Cup also recorded phenomenal figures in global advertising, with approximately $2.4 billion (RM 9.7 billion) spent by different brands and businesses. With the amount of investments, excitement and participation in the World Cup around the globe, there is a wealth of data to be mined and leveraged on.

How can big data analytics play a role in ensuring that all of this data can be turned into actionable insights that benefit all? NetApp has identified the top 3 ways below:

#1 : Improving Players’ Performance through Data Learning

The use of big data analytics can easily improve a players’ performance on the game. Back in 2014, the Germany national football team worked with SAP to develop a huge database that contained various match insights, which aided them with their training and proceeding in winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup!

Four years on, Germany continues to leverage Big Data to continuously improve their training routines, in hopes of grabbing the fifth star for their national team. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for them this time around. However, with so many new teams doing better than expected in the current matches, it won’t be surprising to learn that the other teams have caught on to Germany and are using big data analytics to improve their team performance as well.

#2 : Real Time Media Insights for Greater Viewer Engagement

Interestingly, football teams aren’t the only ones benefitting from analytics. Media outlets stand to gain too. Usually 24-hours before a game, media outlets will be able to receive insights of the competing team. These include matchup histories, notable players and rankings. Such a high volume of insights can prove to be valuable for the media as they aim to provide the most exciting coverage during the season. For example, data can be mined to create hype and drive audiences to tune in. Predictions can be shown in an interactive digital format, led by analysts.  Media outlets are also constantly fed with real-time data of the match, so that commentary materials can be prepared for half-time breaks, as well as before and after each match.

This can provide audiences anywhere around the world with the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the World Cup fever, regardless of where they are from.

#3 : Relying on Historical and Current Performance Analysis for Accurate Winner Prediction  

Match analysts have also started to look into how national teams have fared in previous World Cups and other tournaments. In fact, with the new Elo ratings ranking the teams, they can formulate a predictive model that can almost accurately determine the next World Cup winner! Besides determining the winner, the analysis can also predict whether teams will be able to make it to the Round of 16. This model was first adopted in the 2012 Olympics, where analysts from Goldman Sachs predicted the number of medals that host country, England, will walk away with. The prediction turned out to be 95% accurate!

The World Cup highlights the rapidly growing importance of data analysis in the world today. Right across the business world, in every industry, from pharmaceutical manufacturing to international finance, managers are exploring the ways in which data analytics, or ‘Big Data,’ can help them improve the efficiency of their operations and increase their profits. According to the EU, Big Data is growing at 40% annually, seven times faster than the rest of the ICT sector.  The global Big Data technology and services market was valued at $21.19 billion (RM85.67 billion) in 2017 and is expected to reach a value of $77.58 billion (RM313.68 billion) by 2023, at an estimated CAGR of 24.15%.

With the amount of data floating around the globe, NetApp can provide a secure and efficient data management solution to different service providers or vendors, with solutions tailored specifically to their needs. The NetApp E-series for example, is the perfect solution for service providers or vendors that are trying to broadcast the World Cup, as it can provide media and broadcasting environment with high bandwidth, superior security and also redundancy to prevent a single point of failure.

Most importantly, industry players in Malaysia and ASEAN should start realising the true value of Big Data and embrace the opportunities to power their businesses for now and the future.