We live in an increasingly personalised world. Whether it’s how we shop, how we communicate, or how we consume content, as consumers we expect our interactions to be tailored to our individual needs and interests. Businesses are continuously innovating to improve the customer and user experiences, and as more of our lives move online, the engagement that stems from personalisation will only become more important.
Such engagement can only be achieved by mastering the growing swathes of data we have available to us. Data maturity directly impacts an organisation’s ability to provide the personalised experiences that consumer’s demand, and at NTT DATA we strive to help our clients achieve this. By fully embracing innovation together, and not just relegating it to a box-ticking exercise, we are able to enhance the experience for a specific audience at a more personal level.
Enhancing the experience in sport
Live sport is an area where we can clearly see this desire for personalisation. Data and sport are becoming increasingly intertwined, and every year we are provided with even deeper analytics and statistical breakdowns, from expected goals in football to soil and climatic conditions in cricket. However, of all the sports currently embracing the potential of data analysis, golf stands out from the pack as it’s a data goldmine.
With data at the fingertips of players, they are able to leverage the latest technological innovations to improve their performance, but it is not just the players who benefit from this data – it can also be used to enhance the fan experience. It is this end goal that has acted as the foundation of NTT DATA’s work with The Open this year, as we’ve sought to provide a comprehensive breakdown of all the action across the tournament in real-time through a personalised data feed that will the elevate the fan experience.
A different experience at The Open
The summer of 2021 sees the return of live sport, and few events are garnering as much excitement as the 149th Open Championship. Golf’s oldest and most prestigious major is returning to the iconic location of Royal St George’s Golf Club for the first time since 2011, but given the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, things are going to feel a little different to previous iterations of the competition.
NTT DATA has been working with The R&A on The Open championship since 2013, helping to elevate the fan experience by leveraging the latest technological innovations to make the most of their data. It started with building the NTT DATA wall in 2014 to showcase insights from around the course to fans in the spectator village, providing statistics and facts on the players and the holes to accompany the live broadcast of the event. Then, in 2018, NTT DATA introduced facial recognition technology that was able to anonymously read the emotional reaction of fans during key moments, and then use this data to clip the relevant video, creating a highlights package based on fan emotion. In 2019, we took this technology further, using AI to study the facial expressions and body posture of the players and generate highlights based on the data. This allowed us to provide fans with unique insights into the emotions of the golfers at crucial moments, embellishing the drama of the sport and creating an even more engaging experience for spectators.
This year presented a unique set of challenges as the extent of fan participation has been greatly limited with all sporting venues unable to return to full capacity. Following the latest guidance from the government, The R&A will now be able to welcome 32,000 fans on each day of the championship, barring any further bumps along the road.
The Wall goes personal
With fans front of mind and many still unable to make it to the course this year, The R&A and NTT DATA have taken an alternative approach to fan engagement, which has led to the creation of a unique data experience - the NTT DATA Wall is becoming personal.
The physical version of the data wall has been a mainstay at The Open since 2014, providing a compelling one-stop-shop where fans can follow the action from the tournament and socialise. This year, we’re taking the technological innovation from the physical wall and using it to create a unique and personalised virtual data experience for fans.
Hosted on The Open’s website, fans will be able to access their own personalised news feed to keep them abreast of the latest developments from across the course in real-time. Fans will be able to pick any number of players they’d like to follow, from the current leader or the challenging pack to personal favourites, and NTT DATA’s technology will provide tailored updates for the selected players over the course of the Championship. These updates will occur as they happen on the course and will be presented as graphics, text updates, and video highlights, incorporating statistics such as putting averages, driving averages and head-to-head comparisons with other competitors.
This personalised experience will be delivered parallel with the core data livestream that has been a mainstay of The Open over the last few years. With the two data feeds delivered simultaneously, fans will be able to follow all the latest action in unprecedented detail, gaining both an experience tailored to their interests, as well as a full breakdown of all the latest developments from across the course. Crucially, this experience is not just reserved for the lucky spectators who are able to attend the tournament in person. Fans who are following the action at home, or even on the go, will be able to access this new data experience wherever they may be.
For a sport like golf, it has been historically tricky to stay on top of all the latest developments across a tournament in real-time. With so much happening in different locations simultaneously, it’s easy to lose track of all the ups and downs of a day on the course, so creating an online experience, whereby you can receive all the key highlights of the action as well as follow specific players throughout the day, suits golf better than any other sport.
NTT DATA’s new data experience provides fans with the data they need to fully engage with the sport they love and opens the door for every fan to have an immersive experience that enhances their enjoyment of the action, whether they are on the course or at home.