How IBM’s #Scorewithdata Is Crunching Big Data Cricket Insights Into Visual Content For #CWC15

During this ICC World Cup 2015, IBM introduced its Score With Data for the cricket matches, The article looks at how IBM is crunching big data insights into shareable visuals on social media


Seven hours prior to the first quarter final of ICC World Cup 2015, IBM’s Score With Data (#ScoreWithData) predicted that Imran Tahir will be the “Power Bowler” from the South African team. The prediction comes true, Proteas have won their first knockout game in a world cup after a match winning performance from Tahir. The leg breaker has been judged as “Man of the Match” for his four wickets for twenty-six runs against Sri Lanka.

At the start of ICC World Cup 2015, IBM introduced its technologies around cloud and analytics to turn data into insights with the aim of providing an unforgettable experience for every fan as they enjoy the 2015 World Cup Cricket tournament.

IBM has introduced three major online analytics innovations - 1. IBM Social Sentiment Index, 2. The Wisden Impact Index, and 3. Twitterati Speaks. Along with the insights that IBM is providing fans and cricket lovers, the brand has used social media especially Twitter to spread the word about its interesting and creative visualizations.

IBM Social Sentiment Index

The Index leverages sophisticated IBM Watson Content Analytics delivered as part of Watson Foundations to aggregate and analyze public opinion shared across millions of tweets and other social conversations during the World Cup. The tool analyzes data streams to generate predictions on the teams most likely to win the tournament, highlight the most talked about players and teams and more. For example, the tool is using near real-time data to generate predictions on: teams most likely to win the tournament, most talked about players and teams and many more.

The Sentiment Index recently shared the quarter final expectations from social media (March 9 - March 16) In fact according to the data collected, Sri Lanka had received the most positive sentiment for winning the game and proceeding ahead. However, the Proteas didn’t choke again in a ICC World Cup.

In addition to this, IBM shared visual insights on social media that focused on most liked player, most eagerly anticipated quarter final game among other interesting data.

The Wisden Impact Index

The Wisden Impact Index is in partnership with Wisden India, a world leading cricket reporting organization. This delivers comparative and correlated insights leveraging historical and current data. As cricket matches progress, the index produces below shared insights.

Match Up: a comparative overview of how the two teams stack up against each other in terms of the collective potential they possess.

In less than 1/2 hour for the first quarter final match #scorewithdata shared the below visual on social media showing how both the teams stack up. South Africa was leading in the impact index against Sri Lanka.

Power Players: Based on the basis of players pre-match impact data, the index highlights the impact of players’ performance from respective teams against Power Heroes of the past Cricket World Cup tournaments.

According to the index, Brendan McCullum and Kumar Sangakkara were the highest impact batsman till the knockout stages of ICC Cricket World Cup.

Player Performance: The index gives fans a view of an individual player’s potential highlighting their performance across three criteria – an individual’s career, past year performance and current match performance.

Prior to the crucial league match for Pakistan against Ireland, #Scorewithdata shared the below visual of Player Performance. However, the match winner for Pakistan was their wicket keeper S Ahmed.

Impact Heroes: The analytics highlights players whose performance impacted or changed the flow of the match. It is basically a comparison between man of the match and impact heroes.

The Impact Heroes for the South Africa-Sri Lanka game had Tahir and Duminy as the star performers from South Africa during the first quarter final match.

According to #Scorewithdata, Imran Tahir is the Man of the Match and also the Highest Impact Player for his 4 wicket haul.

However, during the West Indies-UAE match, Holder was man of the match but Amjad Javed of UAE was awarded the highest impact player for his all-round performance. Amjad not only scored bulk of runs for UAE but he also grabbed two wicket for twenty nine runs from eight overs.

Twitterati Speaks

It is an advanced Social Media and Data Analytics engine combined with the power of Watson technologies to identify and record the most talked about moments/highlights for each match of the tournament. According to the company, Twitterati Speaks 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. Post the Pakistan-Ireland match, #Scorewithdata shared a visual plotting the top events of the game derived from Twitter.

In addition to this #Scorewithdata has been sharing visual data from matches that gave insights on the most talked about batsman, bowlers, dismissals and shots that cleared the fence and also created a huge impact on social media.

Apart from sharing the insightful visual data, IBM India occasionally ran small contests on Twitter asking people to guess the highest impact player for the forthcoming match, along with other questions.

IBM’s association with sports by bringing insights to the data is nothing new. IBM’s association with Tennis for the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open is quite well known. IBM SlamTracker is a real-time stats and visualisation platform that leverages IBM’s predictive analytics technology. The solution analyzes over eight years of Grand Slam data (over 41 million data points) to identify patterns in player styles.

IBM has also been closely involved with the Augusta Masters Golf tournament for quite a long time. However, the association with cricket is new and it has been a delight to consume visual insights while enjoying the game.

However, IBM, in the same breath, is also stating that the insights can be applied across industries by leveraging the combined ecosystem of IBM’s Analytics, Cloud, Social and Mobile capabilities. “Whether it’s streamlining operations, improving the customer experience or identifying new opportunities and markets - IBM has the analytic and cloud capabilities that customers need to drive better outcomes,” said Sriram Rajan, Executive Director- IBM Analytics, India & South Asia.