CIO, ATP World Tour
SuperNova Award Category:
The ATP is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits - the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 62 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2016 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events).
With a huge audience on TV (cumulative viewership of almost 1 billion in 2015), online (163 million visits), and a global attendance (4.5 million onsite spectators), the ATP World Tour showcases the best of tennis from across the world. Despite this, ATP keeps looking at opportunities to improve the fan and player experiences. In part, the struggle to close that gap between the physical and digital worlds relates to helping all sports fans understand what the numbers behind the game mean, without losing any of the richness of the data sets that go back to 1991. Seeking to enhance the tennis experience for fans and players, ATP wanted to explore the possibility of creating a new analytical series that dwells deeper into what statistics can reveal about player performance. Further it plans to showcase how historical data around player performance, their strengths and weaknesses can be used to predict player behavior, their shot selections and the likes.
ATP decided to focus on the game first in hopes that would improve the growth of the global audience. Infosys IIP (Infosys Information Platform) based on its successful track record, along with a low cost of entry, scalability and ownership was an easy choice for ATP’s big data and machine-learning initiatives. In September 2015, Infosys was given two months to showcase what it could do to deliver insights for the ATP World Tour's season finale in November. Infosys deployed ATPs historical data from the prior year and combined it with five years of player and ball tracking data on the IIP platform. Using just 2 nodes of 8 Core CPU and 16GB RAM for hardware, IIP processed over 240,000 records (12 million data points) in near real-time to generate the first-ever Stats Leaderboards to measure player performance across 25 years, real-time match analysis, predictions and high probability factors influencing match outcomes were published in real time on ATPWorldTour.com for fans.
Re-inventing the Tennis experience: ATP was immediately able to take advantage of Infosys IIP to advance its understanding of analytics and the game of tennis as told over the past 25 years.The enormity of statistics in the tennis world made it impossible for the 1 billion tennis fans to have any interaction with. For the 1st time ever, the ATP Leaderboards gave fans ways to consume decade’s stats in the form of insights.
Real-time data and insights were provided to analysts and the media during the match and blog posts drove increased social media interaction. The ATP Game-Stats are based on the real-time in-memory paradigm aligned with IIP Tooling & Apache Spark. The Data science module of IIP encompasses integration with Spark Tables & Infosys tooling to provide intuitive features to manage data by data scientists, the value that is generated by this tooling layer enables smart insights gleaning datasets.
After the matches, the data and insights were posted to the ATP Scores and Stats section of its Web site. The traffic to the Stats section on ATPWorldTour.com has grown by 27% compared to the previous year which is 1/3rd the total traffic on the World’s No. 1 tennis website.
Going Deeper – Beyond the Numbers: This unique analytical series has the tennis world buzzing. The power of the Infosys Information Platform (IIP) is used to harness interesting analysis that uncovers the secrets of match performance and foretells predictive behavior.
Now that ATP and Infosys have made eons of data more consumable and simultaneously convey real-time insights through the Information Platform, the next step is generating revenue from it.
The monetization would come from the 1 billion tennis fans globally or from any of the 2,000 tennis professionals in the ATP or the next generation of aspiring professionals.
The access to information and insight is golden and everyone in the tennis ecosystem from players, or coaches, are wanting more insights about their own game and their opponents. Fans can compare modern players with one another (or with legends of the game). It can unearth hidden parameters to success and reasons otherwise. Also, the ATP is interested in adding more data elements and to create a full-fledged data lake into the analysis as well as creating a mobile application in the future. The traffic to the Stats section on ATPWorldTour.com has grown by 27% compared to the previous year. On average, social media promotions for Infosys ATP Beyond the Numbers get 26% more impressions and drive 80% more traffic to ATPworldtour.com per post compared to other promoted news articles.
Success on this initial phase has positioned ATP and Infosys to complete its work on the ATP player portal (Playerzone). The goal is to make the player's journey simpler via improved functionality (e.g., for player members to conduct their business with ATP) and a dashboard to simplify information presentation about a tournament.
IIP is an end-to-end big data platform that leverages open source innovations and internal enhancements to seamlessly integrate into enterprise landscapes and can operate as a standalone big data solution or as an add-on to existing proprietary tools. The analyses supported in IIP also extends to R Module enabling data scientists to perform complex analytics using R packages & algorithms, further allowing to visualize in IIP. All the models are spark based models running on top of HDFS/Hive
For 25 years, the way data in tennis has been perceived has been a constant. Together with Infosys, the fast track innovation via design thinking and other ways via which we are reimagining data is impressive. We have been able to break down decades of data that transcend the boundaries of time into effective, seamless consumption turning data into insight that wows everyone in the tennis ecosystem from players to fans to coaches.
In only 9 months, Infosys had been able to deliver ground breaking insights that have unearthed layers of information one couldn’t think of. The statistics are inspiring and set a standard in the sports industry.
The new statistics that are generated near real time can be easily understood by the most casual of fans, yet the insights and the analysis that can be generated are incredible and powerful for the players and coaches. It can lead to data driven coaching methodologies and tennis strategy for players. Players in the Top-10 have been extremely impressed with the analytics, with numerous queries on the scope of analyzing their own tennis data to help improve performance
Players in the Top-10 have been extremely impressed with the analytics, in-fact a former World No.1 asked Infosys for a full-blown analytics presentation to help him prepare for his matches at the World Tour Finals in 2015. Infosys Leaderboards showed a relatively unknown name in the 52 week Under Pressure category, a few weeks later the gentleman reached the last-8 at Wimbledon.
ATP and Infosys won the ISG Paragon Awards 2016 for the category – ‘Imagination’