How Big Data Helped Germany Break Brazil’s Hearts in the World Cup

Big Data Utopia
June 27, 2014
Quoted in “The National” Newspaper: Is this the end of the computer password?
February 13, 2015

How Big Data Helped Germany Break Brazil’s Hearts in the World Cup

According to the assistant coach Hansi Flick of Germany, a team of about 50 students at Cologne’s sport university developed a huge database over the last two years mashing-up data from different sources about the teams playing in the World Cup.

As I mentioned in a previous post, big data is about capturing the “moment”. The German team was able to capture and analyze each and every moment about the Brazilian team including the passes they play, how they react upon pressure, and even every quote about them in newspapers. They were able to analyze hidden team behaviors and strategy information.

The insights captured from these data is a treasure trove for the German coach which helped him in predicting the performance of the Brazilian team and how he can tackle the team’s weaknesses.

The growth of sensors everywhere (Internet of Everything) along with Big Data, paves the way for new real time evidence-based decisions in sports and soccer particularly. Adidas announced a chip which can be located between the player’s shoulder blades and can transmit 200 data records per second from each player. This will help in assessing the player’s performance and likelihood of being injured.

Indeed, the victory achieved by the German team can be attributed to the invaluable analytics and insights from big data. To me, the true victory lies in the believe in the potential of data in the first place. This belief played a major role in motivating the Germans to initiate this project.

The data scientists of this project were captains and super heroes within the German team, and their insights were the twelve player on the pitch.