The Big Data Bonanza and How Humanity Benefits

Posted by Ryan Somers on October 1, 2013

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The big data frenzy is in full force and it won’t fade anytime soon. “From the dawn of civilization until 2003, humankind generated five exabytes of data. Now we produce five exabytes every two days… and the pace is accelerating”, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google. Having a big data strategy enlightens those who were once blind and the world is starting to see …

  • Personalized Healthcare thru Human Genome analysis
  • Self-Driving Cars to reduce the estimated 1.3 million traffic deaths each year
  • State of the Art Navigation System in creation by China to enhance border patrol, military capabilities, and global independence
  • Big Data in the Dirt to turn traditional farming upside down
  • Crowd Sourcing Data analysis equating to 450 million Doritos Locos Tacos sold at Taco Bell
  • Real Time Crime Centers aiding Police in crime prevention

What’s the common denominator? Unless you’re a criminal, all of these examples (and thousands more) are geared toward improving quality of life. Another powerful way the big data frenzy provides happiness to humanity is within its recent presence in entertainment, specifically…

Technology in sports and how big data increases the experience of coaches, players, announcers, and most importantly, the fans. Focusing on the fans, and specifically the 27 million of them that play fantasy football, I decided to explore’s new cloud-based Player Comparison Tool powered by SAP HANA geared at aiding fantasy footballers in the decision making process. You can learn more about how the mobile tool analyzes 10 years of data to make its predictions here.

But does it really work? I compared 7 different positions of 14 similarly ranked players to tell the story and the results were amazing. The tool allowed me to analyze vast quantities of NFL data in real time and in the end, it accomplished perfection in every single comparison resulting in a combined score increase of over 45 points, equating to half of the entire team’s weekly score. Below is one example of how it correctly recommended LeSean McCoy over a similarly ranked C.J. Spiller:


Recommendation: LeSean McCoy over C.J. Spiller

Actual: McCoy 24.9 points vs. Spiller 3.5 points

SAP Player Analysis Tool Differential: +21.4

*In hindsight, McCoy was the obvious choice as he ran wild against the Redskins, while Spiller struggled to get anything going vs. the Patriots. But predicting this on gut-feel would have been challenging for any owner as most had Spiller ranked ahead of McCoy before the season began*

The sheer fact that anyone, even children can log on their mobile devices and instantly analyze 10 years of NFL big data collection is proof of how simplified and integral, technology has become in all aspects of life. 12 year olds have a big data strategy, do you?

Related Media:

Future of Baseball Hinges on Analytics, Big Data and Mobility

“An Executive’s Guide to Big Data; What Could You Do If You Knew”

“Spending Wisely on a Big Data Strategy”

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