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Germany’s secret weapon for the World Cup? That would be big data

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off today, meaning that each of the 32 teams are about to find out how effective their preparation has been. In the case of some teams though, those preparations have been lot geekier than you might expect.

Germany, for instance, isn’t just taking taking a typical training and tactics approach. Its secret weapon? Big data. In a collaboration between SAP and the German Football Association (DFB), the team’s management was provided with the company’s Match Insights software.

The German team will use the software, which which facilitates the analysis of training, preparation and tournaments in an early adoption phase for preparation and post analyses of the matches during the World Cup in Brazil.

According to SAP, which will release the program on a wider scale after the tournament, Match Insights is also meant to enable coaches and scouts to process vast amounts of data to find and assess key situations in each match to improve player and team performance.

“SAP’s involvement has transformed the football experience for coaches, players, fans, and the media,” said Oliver Bierhoff SAP brand ambassador and manager of the German national football team.

“Imagine this: In just 10 minutes, 10 players with three balls can produce over seven million data points. SAP HANA can process these in real time. With SAP, our team can analyse this huge amount of data to customise training and prepare for the next match.”

“Today each sports team is looking for innovative ways to gain a competitive edge over its rivals,” said Bierhoff. “We are representing one of the most successful teams in the world. The DFB is committed to providing the German national team with the best technology to maximise their performance. SAP meets this demanding criterion,”

SAP reckons that it’s not just football teams that stand to benefit from the software though. It also believes that Match Insights could be pretty useful for the media.

“Big data is an incredible resource for coaches and players to contextualise information and draw well-informed conclusions to optimise training and tactics,” said Simon Carpenter, Chief Customer Officer at SAP Africa. “It’s high time to make this type of information accessible to sports journalism and the fans as well.”

Whether Germany’s technical know-how will take it to a forth World Cup title however remains to be seen.

Image: Arne Müseler via Wikipedia.

Author | Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you catch him, if you can, at a Silicon Cape event every now and again. More

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