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Analytics brings in ‘meticulous approach’ to Cricket, says CTO Amitava Ghosh

Cricket fever spares no one. Just like everyone else, the country’s super-busy technologists are also gripped by cricket mania. It’s quite interesting to see CIOs and CTOs -- whose lives normally revolve around technology -- also talk, eat, and live cricket. Going by the trends, technology has made a huge impact on the game and there is no doubt about it. Besides benefitting the sports fraternity, technology -- ‘Analytics’ precisely -- has revolutionized cricket match viewing experience.

As the ICC World Cup is on, Firstpost catches up with a young and dynamic CTO (chief technology officer) to understand how he views the matches today that come with a decent dose of analytics. A tech aficionado who has worked in companies of all sizes and across various technology domains, Amitava Ghosh, ex-CTO at TaxiForSure, sees “data visualisation in cricket fascinating for enthusiasts.”

 Analytics brings in ‘meticulous approach’ to Cricket, says CTO Amitava Ghosh

Amitava Ghosh has decided to quit TaxiForSure.

His technology expertise is well known, but Amitava knows cricket technology and that’s quite evident from the conversation, as he explains, “There are two broad categories of data visualisation statistics. One is a fun based static which is typically used to entertain viewers/audiences, and second one is performance oriented analytical statistic which helps to enhance a player's performance or helps the team to strategize better. Though, the latter one is never revealed to the audience. The former is seen everywhere. This encompasses, bowler's average speed, weather condition and swing and some amusing facts. Some of them are insightful and useful too (for e.g. the ground is shorter in the direction of a particular batsman's strong stroke-making zone) and some are used just to excite the audience (like Y team has always won when X bowler took more than Z number of wickets while bowling second).”

But besides cricket, does he see great use of analytics in sports field where success entirely depends on player’s talent, to which he replies, “Yes, just like business or other stream of work, analytics plays an important role in sports too.”

Amitava elaborates that analytics brings in a “meticulous approach” towards the game. “It’s important to analyse every batsman's strong and weak spots and every bowler's lethal weapons. Data science is all about discovering interesting patterns. It could be how a batsman got out after an off-spinner during slog overs and where he usually mis-hits the ball. Maybe you will place a short 3rd man for an off-spinner if you know that a batsman with strong bottom hand is going after the bowler against the spin.”

“While raw talent can never be replaced, data science and statistical analysis is going to help in putting together a sharper strategy for the game, just like it helps in business,” he highlights.

Moreover, analytics can not just bring fun to the game of cricket; it can also help owners earn money. “Data analytics have the potential to improve effectiveness, precision and productivity in sports. As we move from "country" specific to "club/league” based cricket (or any other sports), audience analysis and targeted advertisement is definitely going to reap rich benefits from commercial point of view for the owners and other stakeholders,” Amitava says.

Apart from cricket, Amitava also touches upon the impact of analytics in the industry he deals in, saying, “Data sciences and analytics play a critical role in making business decisions. It helps us improve our services every day.”

In addition, he believes data visualisation and Big data analysis is an amazing advantage for any business, especially for sales and marketing division. “More CEOs, sales managers and team leaders are using software to help convert numbers and other content into something that employees can understand and apply. Data dashboard that is shared throughout the organisation can promote better support and follow-up, as lines of communication are strengthened between salespeople and other staff members.”

“The visual aspects of a good sales data dashboard are helpful for keeping top management abreast of the sales group’s work and effectiveness, particularly if the sales process is extended or complicated. This can save hours, and make top management more comfortable with the sales team’s performance,” he claims.

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Updated Date: Mar 12, 2015 13:07:29 IST