The National Basketball Association today unveiled a new site for fans of games statistics: NBA.com/stats, powered by SAP Analytics technology. The multi-year marketing partnership between SAP and the NBA was announced six months ago:
“We are constantly researching new and emerging technologies in an effort to provide our fans with new ways to connect with our game,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “SAP is a leader in providing innovative software solutions and an ideal partner to provide a dynamic and comprehensive statistical offering as fans interact with NBA basketball on a global basis.”
“SAP is honored to partner with the NBA, one of the world’s most respected sports organizations,” said Bill McDermott, co-CEO, SAP. “Through SAP HANA, fans will be able to experience the NBA as never before. This is a slam dunk for SAP, the NBA and the many fans who will now have access to unprecedented insight and analysis.”
The free database contains every box score of every game played since the league’s inception in 1946, including graphical displays of players shooting tendencies.
The New York Times explains the reasoning behind the move. The NBA wanted to:
“surface all of this information so fans could digest it the way they wanted to, so they could have their own view of the history of the N.B.A. and their own look into their favorite team. We didn’t want to keep it behind a curtain; we wanted to expose it.”
Mashable was impressed:
“A demo of the tool earlier this week was really impressive, with a pleasant interface complementing a staggering array of statistical combinations and insights.”
InformationWeek talked about the technology used:
“The main reason SAP Hana was selected was that the NBA wanted to support fast, flexible querying. With the entire stat dataset held in memory on Hana, fans will be able to split, filter and query data as they see fit, Gliedman said. It’s not a huge trove of data, at less than a terabyte, but conventional OLAP cubes would have confined analysis to a limited set of predefined queries.
“stats will be available within 15 minutes of the end of each game. The delay has more to do with officials finalizing the stats than any technical delay”
And explained that this is just the start:
“NBA.com/stats is launching with a modest collection of data-visualization capabilities, including shot charts and trend graphs, but Gliedman said the NBA plans to add drag-and-drop data-visualization options using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and Visual Intelligence software”
Do I need to add a sentence here about what a difference you could make in your organization if your employees could access your corporate data as easily as the NBA fans can access statistics, using SAP HANA? (No? I didn’t think so…)
This is far from the first time SAP has provided analytics information for sports. If you’re interested in sailing, you can check out http://www.sapsailing.com/. If you’re interested in football, try the NFL Fantasy Football Player of the Year analytics. Soccer and the European Champions League? try the Paul the Octopus application.
- Mashable: NBA Gives Basketball Nerds the Gift of Big Data
- New York Times: Advanced Statistics Added to Revamped N.B.A. Site
- InformationWeek: NBA Launches SAP Hana-Powered Basketball Statistics Site