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  • Sports Analytics

    This article summarizes how Spotfire Technology can be used for Sports Analytics use cases, and provides several examples.


    Sports analytics helps coaches, athletes and teams improve performance by making better decisions in preparation, as well as during sporting events. Some of the metrics entertain sports fans during the sporting events they are watching, with details such as % of shots on a goal for the soccer teams in a game, or the ball speed of a serve in a tennis match. And sometimes they can see predictions of chances of winning based on historical performance.

    There is also a business side to sports analytics. Event organizers and sports team owners and sponsors will use the metrics to optimize profitability and fan engagement. Looking at for example merchandise sales, ticket prices, and event logistics. And the advertising industry will use sports analytics to determine the value of an add, looking at ratings, audience numbers clickthrough behaviors in response to what is happening on the screen. Sports analytics also are an important input into the sports betting industry as chances of winning will be related to the payout of a bet. 

    In line with how data analytics as grown in all industries, in sports analytics the increasing data storage and compute capacity available has accelerated the use of statistics and machine learning for predictions and simulations with positive outcomes for athletes and teams.

    In our Analytics Meetup on December 14, 2022, we covered the developments in Sports Analytics including a demo of the Pro Basketball Draft Analyzer. The Slides can be downloaded from our Analytics Meetup page.


    Use Cases


    Cycling - Team EF Education TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank is the longest-running professional women's cycling team in North America. Since 2004, the team's mission has been to help aspiring female cyclists achieve their dreams of becoming top International competitors. Built upon actual professional cycling race data collected during the race from the riders' bicycles and body monitoring equipment, this application provides an analysis of Team EF Education-TIBCO-SVB performance from the 2020 season and beyond. It allows for a unique comparison of metrics between riders such as power output, heart rate, and speed to allow them to review and optimize future race strategies.


    F1 racing - eight-time FIA Formula One - Constructors' champion Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One is at the pinnacle of motorsport. Over its years of partnership with TIBCO, it amassed 60 race wins, including Constructors' and Drivers' championships, and operationalized turning data into insight that informs car design, race strategy, and driver performance. See the microsite with all use cases here.

    Major League Baseball - MLB Outlier Pitches is an example used for the Local Outlier Factor Python Data Function for Spotfire which can be downloaded from the Spotfire Community Exchange

    MMA Fighting - For a TIBCO NOW event, we created an application using collecting and analyzing signals from muscles to better understand contractions, intensity, velocity, and ultimately the point of fatigue. This data was then displayed on a live dashboard to help optimize training and performance. Check out the blog here.


    Basketball - This Pro Basketball Draft Analyzer shows a high number of dimensions in a dataset broken down into player profiles using advanced statistical methods in Spotfire. The results are used to assess similarity among players and help guide draft selections. See the Pro Basketball Draft Analyzer on the Spotfire Interactive Demo Gallery, with a Spotfire Community article explaining the details.


    American Football - 'Just look at the Data: Roger Craig Should be in the Hall of Fame' - see why in this blog, or check out the analysis on the Spotfire interactive demo gallery.



    Visual Sports Analytics is great for storytelling as Sports bring out emotions in people and a non-technical audience can relate to it. And start to better understand the value of using more advanced data and analytics techniques. We have created several tools to predict outcomes for major sports events which have generated a lot of interest. 



    Health and Safety

    Head Injury prevention - Sports Analytics can also be used to protect the health of athletes in training and in action and prevent severe injuries. See this presentation on using data, analytics, and technology to prevent concussions in impact sports. Presented by Richard Benson at a Data4Good Data Science Festival Meetup hosted by TIBCO in London.


    Data Sources

    • Video and Streaming Data
    • Sensor data on equipment such as the temperature of a tire in F1 racing, or speed data from a bicycle
    • Physical Performance data such as Heart Rate 
    • Data from Sports apps such as TrainingPeaks and Strava
    • Specific Sports Statistics such as Pro Cycling Stats
    • Open Data sets to experiment with such as data.world


    Customer Stories

    On the Spotfire Web Site, we maintain all customer stories with filters by industry and by product. This is where you can find all customer stories and case studies. Customer stories related to the Sports Industry are:

    • TXODDS - a sports betting data company - achieving fast innovation, customer time savings and profitability and reliable and relevant data using TIBCO technology - details in this case study
    • Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One - they operationalized turning data into insight that informs car design, race strategy, and driver performance. See the microsite with all use cases here.
    • Leading Athletics Lifestyle Brand - not Sports Analytics exactly but still of interest! This company is making use of data as never before—extending insight sharing across core use cases for retail, wholesale demand planning, and value chain operations details in this case study.

    Industry Resources

    Spotfire sites

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