Amazon using machine learning for real-time Bundesliga stats
With the coronavirus pandemic bringing to a halt nearly all forms of sport around the globe, the return of Germany’s top flight of professional football, the Bundesliga, was welcomed by fans worldwide.
The rub, of course, is that the games must be carried out in empty stadiums, with stringent safety measures in place for players and coaching staff. Inevitably, this has hurt the atmosphere, but fans watching at home will imminently have something else to draw their attention: real-time stats.
Amazon’s cloud computing marque, AWS, is partnering with the league to debut two new statistics for tonight's Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund game - Average Positions and Expected Goals. The stats will be calculated via real-time analysis of data captured from the live feed, leveraging AWS’ machine learning and data analytics.
“We at Bundesliga are able to use this advanced technology from AWS, including statistics, analytics and machine learning, to interpret the data and deliver more in-depth insight and better understanding of the split-second decisions made on the pitch," said Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for the DFL Group in a press release. "The use of Bundesliga Match Facts enables viewers to gain a deeper insight into the key decisions in each match."
The stats will continue to be available going forwards, with Average position available during all and Expected Goals available during highlight matches.
“AWS is helping the Bundesliga enhance the broadcast viewing experience by delivering deeper insights into the game that didn’t previously exist,” said Andy Isherwood, Vice President and Managing Director EMEA, AWS. “With AWS, Bundesliga is able to provide real-time statistics to predict future plays and outcomes. These two new statistics are just the beginning of what we’ll be able to deliver for football fans as we look forward to unlocking new ways to better educate, engage, and entertain viewers around the world.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”