I was delighted to be invited by Dimension Data to a reception in London where they explained how their technology and real-time big data analytics are revolutionising the viewing experience of the Tour de France.
Here are my three key take-outs from a very engaging and informative session:
- I was amazed at how much data is generated from one major sporting event (billions of data points), and how every piece of data has a use for the different stakeholders – viewers, attendees, participants, teams, media, supergeek fans, the A.S.O. etc. And how that data immediately becomes a resource for historic trend and future performance prediction. The Tour de France is only one of many global sporting super-events (I was at Wimbledon with IBM a couple of weeks ago and saw the same thing). Just think of how much data is generated each year just from sport. If you haven’t got the message already then you need to know that Big Data is here to stay!
- Expectations have risen in-line with this explosion of data! It was fascinating to see how fans can follow every one of the riders individually and access key stats of their performance real-time. This is genuine democratisation of insight. The media can only realistically follow the leaders & personalities (unless there’s a crash!), but fans can zoom in to any of the riders and/or become ‘instant experts’ because of the rich information immediately available. So what? The new generation of consumers expect real-time & digital personalisation as standard. Are you keeping up?
- The A.S.O. like many grand sporting establishments has realised that it has to stay relevant and accessible to the new generation of fans and aficionados. They have a track record of innovation, but they’re not a technology or data company. It struck me how well their partnership with Dimension Data fits. Dimension Data have not only behaved as a ‘supplier’ – they have embraced the Tour and genuinely enabled this digital transformation as a trusted partner. They have entered a team (first African-based team to ride), and utilised the relationship to do good (giving away 100,000 bikes in Africa). Trust is built over time and by working through and overcoming challenges together – all credit to Dimension Data and the A.S.O. for making this an exemplary partner relationship. It’s a great example of what we stand for as a business focused on B2B – business relationships based on trust, interdependence and mutual commercial benefit
I hope that your business is excelling in these three crucial respects: embracing Big Data and benefiting from the insight garnered from it; adapting to rising customer expectations (especially digital); and building trust-based mutually beneficial partnerships that supplement your core proposition.
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