Sponsored: Wins — the analytics advantage in Cricket

If cricket is religion in India, the World Cup is the ultimate test of its devotees’ faith.

Cricket is a game that has rules on and off the playing field. A match is seldom watched alone, in quiet solitude. The world and its uncle suddenly become connoisseurs and each has their opinion on how a particular shot should have been played and how that particular catch should have been taken. Statistics and trivia fly back and forth putting on display one’s passion and knowledge of the game.

For cricket fanatics, technology has taken this battle to a whole new level. Tapping into the inherent human desire to be know-it-all, tech giant IBM has taken on the challenge to dissect each and every moment in the game and come out with mind boggling facts and figures that can actually prove to be insights to make the sport better.

In an effort to aggregate and analyse public opinions shared across millions of tweets and other social conversations during the World Cup, IBM Social Sentiment leverages IBM Content Analytics. The tool will analyze these data streams to garner insights that make experiencing the game far more enjoyable.

 Sponsored: Wins — the analytics advantage in Cricket

The Social Sentiment Index analyzed around 3.5 million tweets, by tracking about 700 match-specific events daily in Twitter. IBM Data Curation and Integration capabilities were used on BigInsights and Social Data Accelerator (SDA) to extract social insights from streaming twitter feed in real time.

Moreover, IBM Text Analytics and Natural Language Processing performs fine grained temporal analytics around events that have short lifespan but are important -- events like boundaries, sixes and wickets.

IBM Social Media Analytics also examines the quantum of discussion around teams, players, events. It examines sentiments across different entities and Identify topics that are trending and understands ways in which advertisers can use the discussion to appropriately position their products and services.

IBM Content Analytics examines the large social content more deeply and tries to mimic human cognition and learning behavior to answer complex questions like the impact of certain player or attributes determining the outcome of the game.

Just as we see with cricket, the more advanced your organisation's data analytics, the more equipped you are to make smarter decisions faster - such as how to automate your more traditional, cost-intensive internal processes. Building an integrated platform of analytics products and services will allow you to strategically take advantage of both structured and unstructured data. And high-calibre support can help you manage your transformation, change the game, and maintain a winning advantage.

Another advanced social media and data analytics engine is Twitterati Speaks.


It identifies and records the most talked about moments and highlights for each match of the tournament. It identifies the highlights of a match determined by dominant fan reaction after scouring through millions of Twitter feeds, projecting the results visually.

The tool uses IBM Cloudant, a distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) on IBM Bluemix, cloud-based platform to process the insights.

To give an idea of the numbers and technology involved, as part of Twitterati, IBM processed about 3 million tweets on an average, in a two match day, analysed at 10 min intervals.

IBM Cloudant was used to store tweets, crawled from twitter having match/tournament specific hashtags. According to their needs, IBM fetched the tweets from Cloudant and generated the events specific to every match. IBM Bluemix automates the process of getting tweets from Twitter and generating the events corresponding to every match given the schedule of the tournament of Cricket World Cup. The application is hosted in Bluemix. Apart from these technologies, IBM developed the core engine that identifies events from the Twitter feed.

IBM has also tied up with Wisden to leverage its advanced Big Data and Analytics and Cognitive computing capabilities to trigger meaningful conversations around cricket by throwing up compelling insights from historic, real-time and social sentiment based data. IBM uses Wisden’s proprietary ‘Impact Index’ to process it and scale into an automated engine that produces Impact Index-based data points.

As cricket matches progress, it produces insights such as Match Up which is a comparative overview of how the two teams stack up against each other in terms of the collective potential they possess. ‘Power Players’ highlights the impact of players’ performance from respective teams against Power Heroes of the past Cricket World Cup tournaments. This is on the basis of their pre-match impact data. For instance, based on past data, it was deduced that India’s R Ashwin has had a good record breaking long partnerships, leading to the discussion about bringing him out to bowl at the right time.


IBM’s analytics engines will cumulatively crunch hundreds of thousands structured and unstructured data points over the course of the 2015 ODI World Cup. The result – a few hundred actionable insights that could provide coaches and players with information that could help them fine-tune their game and optimise future performances. For the millions of cricket fans across the world, it will provide a deeper appreciation and understanding of their favourite sport and players.

IBM analytics is not only changing the game on the playing field but in boardrooms too. Businesses can take faster, more informed decisions, taking strategic advantage of both, structured and unstructured data. Tapping on social media chatter can help marketing teams understand how their brand is perceived, how well their campaigns have been doing, thus helping them chart out further course of action and be on the winning side, every time.

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Updated Date: Apr 13, 2015 12:16:40 IST