Summer means something different to each of us – for me it’s scorching temperatures, sprinklers, icy poles, and of course, the excitement of the Australian Open.  It’s our first big sporting event of the year, and one that brings an influx of the world’s best as they battle it out in sweltering heat over long, drawn-out sets.

There’s only one thing better than being a Melbournian during the Australian Open, and that’s being a Melbourne-based IBMer.  With a 20-year partnership between Tennis Australia and IBM, I have every excuse to drop tools and hit the courts, all in the name of research 🙂

While other sponsors have come and gone over the past few decades, IBM has remained a constant logo uniquely positioned on the game clock.  And whilst the location of the logo hasn’t changed, the way in which IBM technology supports, contributes and enriches the event has.  From the back office and game operations, to match statistics and providing predictive insight in the hands of officials and supporters alike, 2013 is going to be an exciting event for the players, organisers and fans alike.

Leading the fan experience is IBM Slam Tracker – a real-time stats and visualisation platform that leverages IBM‘s predictive analytics technology.  Over eight years of Grand Slam data (over 41 million data points) is analysed to identify patterns in player styles and performance, and key performance indicators – what players need to do to succeed in a match.  During each match, each player’s performance will be measured against their KPIs and updated in real-time on providing you, me and screaming fans around the world with a deeper level of insight as the match unfolds.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be glued to my TV set and posting more information about how IBM technology supports this fantastic event.  In the meantime, here’s a few previous posts on analytics in the world of sport to get you started.