August #cloudchat: Big Data in the big leagues—how cloud is transforming sports

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We have an exciting topic for this month’s #cloudchat on Thursday, August 8, from 4-5 p.m. ET: The convergence of professional sports, the cloud and Big Data.

Sports franchises are using Big Data like never before, and it even made its way to the big screen with the 2011 movie Moneyball, based on Michael Lewis’ book about the Oakland Athletics’ use of sabermetrics to build a winning baseball team. Now, most pro sports franchises—not just baseball—employ some sort of data scientist on their staff.

From cloud-based mobile apps that enhance the fan experience, to statistical analyses that can determine the future value of trading an individual player, to predictive analytics that can determine an athlete’s momentum in real time, Big Data and the cloud are literally changing the game. It’s no wonder so many sports teams are employing these data scientists—and no surprise the world’s major sporting events rely on cloud computing for scalable build up/tear down IT infrastructure. This #cloudchat, hosted by @IBMcloud, will discuss what’s next for sports thanks to cloud computing and Big Data. Players, coaches, general managers and fans alike are benefiting from these innovations in countless ways. Join us to discuss this exciting convergence of technology and sport.

Our panel of experts this month includes:

Jon Wertheim

Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated

Jon Wertheim, both the executive editor and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, is one of the most accomplished sports journalists in America. His work has been cited in The Best American Sports Writing anthology numerous times as well as The Best American Crime Writing. He is the author of seven highly-praised books. His seventh book, Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won—co-written with University of Chicago finance professor Tobias Moskowitz—used economic principles to explain sports. It came out in January 2011 and was a New York Times bestseller.


Benjamin Alamar

Benjamin Alamar, Sports analytics consultant

Benjamin Alamar is a sports analytics consultant, researcher, speaker, and author of Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers. He’s also a professor of sports management atMenloCollege inMenlo Park,California. He’s consulted with a variety of teams in the NFL and NBA, including five seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder as well as private and publicly-held companies.  Professor Alamar is the founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, the first peer-reviewed academic journal for research in sports analytics.


Devin Pleuler

Devin Pleuler, Advanced data analyst, Opta

Devin Pleuler is the newest member of Opta’s Analytics department and created the weekly “Central Winger” analytics series for He graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology inBoston with the only Computer Science degree on the school’s NCAA soccer team. Assisted the men’s soccer team at MIT last fall.

Here’s more info on how to participate:

  • What: A Twitter chat is an online conversation held at a pre-arranged time following a specific hashtag, in this case #cloudchat. You will need a Twitter ID to take part.
  • When: Thursday, August 8, at 4 p.m. ET, repeating the second Thursday of every month at 4 p.m. ET.
  • Where: The chat can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #cloudchat. Alternatively, log on and access the chat on Twubs. A recap will be posted on this blog the following Friday.
  • Why: To facilitate additional industry dialogue and provide a forum for questions, idea sharing, and problem solving. We want your input on what you’d like to discuss during future chats, so please leave a comment on this post or tweet @ibmcloud with topic ideas.
  • Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome to join!

IBM Cloud

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