May 7, 2021

Premier League using Oracle to provide performance data

Kate Birch
3 min
The Premier League  kicks off a new era of football with the adoption of Oracle Cloud to help power advanced data analytics and give fans a better game
The Premier League kicks off a new era of football with the adoption of Oracle Cloud to help power advanced data analytics and give fans a better game...

With the aim of giving football fans both a deeper understanding and a more exciting and engaged experience of the game, the UK’s Premier League is utilising Oracle’s data and analytics and machine learning technologies to deliver ground-breaking statistics and insight in real-time to its global audience.

The Premier League is available to watch in 880 million homes in 188 countries and research shows fans are interested in the integration of match data and analysis and insights achieved will help deliver more data-rich stories about matches.

Marking a significant merger of technology and sport, and set to give fans worldwide “a game-changing new experience”, this partnership will allows fans to access a range of match information instantly both while watching on their TVs from home or if checking the latest scores on their mobile phones.

“The margins for error in the Premier League are very small, so the data is crucial to discovering the meaningful moments and stories of each match. It’s those stories that unite fans and ignite their passions for the game,” says Ariel Kelman, VP and CMO for Oracle. 

How exactly will Oracle power such insights?

With the utilisation of Match Insights – Powered by Oracle Cloud, the Premier League will be able to offer advanced player performance data and statistics during the broadcast of games, as well as across the League’s social channels.

Machine learning models will be developed to generate immediate results based on live data streams, real-time tracking data, and facts collected on each of the League’s players and from thousands of previous matches. 

Match Insights will include the following:

  • Average Formation This tracks the positions of all players when their team is in and out of possession. The model highlights differences in how teams organise themselves when attacking and defending. During the match, fans will see how teams react to their opposition’s tactics, helping viewers to understand the strategies behind different styles of play.
  • Live Win Probability This statistic enlarges the story of a team’s performance by calculating the chance a team has in securing a win or draw by simulating the remainder of the match 100,000 times. The model is based on four years of match data and takes into account if a team is home or away, the current score, penalties, players on the pitch, red cards and time left.
  • Momentum Tracker This measures the likelihood of the team in possession scoring a goal in the next 10 seconds. The results are based on data from thousands of historical games and the last five events in the current possession. The model incorporates the outcomes of passes, dribbles in possession, tackles and the locations on the pitch where they take place.

  American NFL uses AWS since 2018

The Premier League isn't the only sports league worldwide to merge with technology to enage fans. In 2018, the NFL, which has 180 million fans worldwide, realised it too needed a more advanced system to collect data and make sense of it, revealing insights about game dynamics for both fans and plays. And so they partnered with AWS to help leverage the power of its data via analytics and machine learning.

Powered by machine learning tool Amazon SageMaker, NFL’s Next Gen Stats program uses sophisticated tracking and technology collected via RFID devices in the shoulder pads of every player and embedded at each of its stadiums. These devices capture data about which players are on the field at a given moment, their location within inches, and the speed and direction in which they move. This treasure trove of data represents a tremendous resource for the league’s 32 teams, multiple media partners and approximately 180 million fans worldwide 

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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