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Watson Analytics is the ace in your game

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Watson Analytics is the ace in your game

IBM SlamTracker brings tennis data to life

Sports is a game of numbers and tennis is no exception. IBM’s SlamTracker gathers on court data and brings it to life in visually compelling ways for anyone to see. Statistics on scores, serve speeds, winners and more are now readily available for you to look at as a result of expert analysts and processing power. But what if you don’t have those data experts at your fingertips? What if, as the subject matter expert in your business domain, you want to understand for yourself what insights are hidden in your spreadsheets or other data sources?

Watson Analytics is the ace in your game. (And, if you want to try it out now, you can learn how here.)

I’m no expert, but…

We leveraged IBM’s data collection of grand slam events sourced by IBM SlamTracker from 2005 through July 2016 and loaded it into Watson Analytics.  Without having to be an expert at tennis, you can learn from your data as Watson Analytics uses guided analysis so you can find trends and patterns quickly and easily. For example, an interesting insight from the four major tennis tournaments is that both men and women consistently have the most aces at Wimbledon.

tennis dataviz

On the other hand, there’s serve speed

Is there a difference in serve speed between righties and lefties?

Serve speed scatterplot left and right

Not really. For the most part, tennis players are pretty consistent in their first serve speed, regardless of which hand is dominant.

Taking a peek at ace peaks

Another interesting insight is that women tennis players seem to peak at scoring aces when they’re 25-26, after that it’s a steep decline. For men, the peak is 27-28 and there’s also a steep decline once they pass that age.

US Open Data Visualization

Who’s at double fault here?

Which tournament averages the most double faults? It’s the US Open with the Australian Open a close second.

Tennis data analysis

Just the tip of the tennis racket

So as you can see, in just a short period of time you can have a better understanding of tennis, and this can be applied to your business data as well—from spreadsheets to databases.  Watson Analytics serves up excitement in visually compelling and descriptive ways that make sense to you.

Want to analyze SlamTracker data with Watson Analytics? Learn how you can get smart data discovery for free at

Author’s note: Many thanks to Stephen Archut and Suman Mukherjee, my technical consultants for this article.


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LB Sep 08, 2016

Is it possible to get access to the raw data that was used for the analysis?

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Forsyth Alexander Sep 08, 2016

Hi, I am looking into this. I am not sure if IBM makes that available or not. I’ll keep digging and let you know. ~Forsyth

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