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Analytics helps make better performing teams: Stephen Benjamin, Cadence

With ICC World Cup 2015 at its exciting stage, the heartbeat of entire nation is one today and that is India’s win against Australia. The excitement and fun just doubles up when the giant wagon wheel shows “six” when India is batting. Moreover, the analysis and data visualisation adds up to a stirring visual treat for fans watching this exciting game on their TV sets. There’s no doubting that wagon wheel, visual analysis, data visualisation all are exciting technologies making the game of cricket, or any sports for that matter, more fun to watch. Firstpost, in conversation with Stephen Benjamin, IT Director at Cadence Design Systems, understands the technology aspect of his favourite game.

“Data visualisation provides greater details on teams such as their strengths, parameters influencing most wins, etc. This information helps the cricket enthusiast analyse the game and appreciate the nuances which impact it,” says Benjamin while talking about the mix of analytics with cricket and his viewing experience.

 Analytics helps make better performing teams: Stephen Benjamin, Cadence

Stephen Benjamin, Director-IT, Cadence Design Systems Private Limited

Not only does analytics ensure high adrenaline from a spectator’s point of view, but it also helps players and teams in making better strategies. Benjamin explains, “Deep-dive data helps the team strategise their game better, for example by looking to capitalise on the weaknesses of the opposition (made available through data analytics). Most teams today use this data to prepare a plan for each key player of the opponent’s team. The availability of such data helps all players review their performances and look to improve their weaknesses.”

“So to an extent data analytics can help in create a level playing field as this insightful information is available to all, but the players still require ability and talent to execute their plans on the ground,” he adds.

Moreover, sport analytics gives in-depth knowledge on each sportsperson’s and the team’s strengths, weaknesses, performance trends, etc. This helps the team take well-informed decisions on training requirements, fitness regimes, planning, strategy and team formation.

And, a better performing team means business, Benjamin asserts, as it helps increase sponsorships, endorsements, and advertising revenues.

Besides promising better cricket watching experience today, analytics is playing a big role in transforming businesses too. On this, Benjamin claims that analytics helps clear the air of suppositions and assumptions and replace them with definitive facts and figures.

The right analytics has several advantages. For example, for IT support organisations, it helps understand IT service delivery much better in terms of performance rather than just uptime. Analytics can help gauge the cost of the performance, which helps the organisation to take the right decisions on IT investments.

In addition, this technology helps IT to be more proactive in delivering predictable performance in services as it has detailed knowledge of performance parameters. And, detailed analysis also provides knowledge on predicting performance and cost of scaling up/down of service.

And, data visualisation also helps top management, he says. These analytics tools helps management get a good insight in the overall IT service delivery performance  trends with increasing scale of operations, which can be then measured with cost of service. This could be extended to detail the business value of IT services.

Social sentiment and predictive analysis are seen as next big thing in analytics. So, where does he see this trend going? Replying to this, Benjamin notes, “Social sentiment analysis is an important input to gauge market sentiment. With increasing use of social media this data is of significant value as it can help market watchers understand the sentiment regarding topical trends and issues.”

“There could be several “what-if” scenarios created to pick up one with most probability. Such information is useful in taking decisions. I see such usage in industries such as cosmetics, fashion, food, movies, footwear, among others.”

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Updated Date: Mar 26, 2015 16:40:17 IST