NBA’s Raptors Visualize Data From IBM’s Watson To Build Team’s Future


The NBA’s Toronto Raptors had a good playoff run once their key guards remembered how to shoot, but the ownership and management team is also using less obvious cues and clues from visualized data to build the club’s future.

In mid-season, the team launched IBM Sports Insights Central, a data viz set-up using MultiTaction’s software and hardware solution to help shape and guide the talent evaluation process.

The system uses the cognitive analysis of IBM’s super-computing Watson system to evaluate talent. Called IBM Sports Insights Central, and displayed on multi-touch walls and tables, the system pulls in data from a variety of sources including statistics, video, social networking sentiment analysis, medical records and much more. It compares this data against the team’s needs, a player’s likelihood of succeeding, staying healthy and working well with coaches and teammates for the duration of a contract.

“The main reason most organizations aren’t getting value from their big data investments is because the right people cannot see it and engage with it,” says Jonathan Priestley, Senior Vice President Marketing at MultiTaction. “Our work with IBM and the Toronto Raptors demonstrates how you can put the right information in front of the process owners to derive actionable insights. We want visitors to start thinking how something similar might work for them.”

MultiTaction will be showing the product used by IBM and the Raptors – MT Canvus – next week at InfoComm.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
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