8 Ways Big Data Will Change Our Lives


Spot-On Sports Analysis

With the advent of big data, our ability to analyze sports and keep tabs on our favorite players is going to soar.

Take, for example, sports actuary John Dewan's dead-on projections for the 2012 Summer Olympics. With some help from the Wall Street Journal, Dewan created a computer model that simulated the entire Olympic games "hundreds" of times, and predicted the U.S. would win 108 medals. In the end, the U.S. took an eerily-close 104.

Ben Alamar, a statistics and economics professor at Menlo College in Atherton, Calif., has spent five years doing statistical analysis on teams including the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. In a white paper published by storage giant EMC, Alamar noted that a "big data" set in sports is minimal compared to even a "day's work at Google." But sports analysts are still mining in ways they never could before, meaning predictive analytics will become, well, even more predictive.

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