Squawka? Hang on, why are you doing a Big Data Notes about my wife?
We wouldn’t be so rude. Squawka is a new service which allows football fans to see the latest stats on their teams, inside and out of live matches, and collated social media comments from various sources in one place.
Recently Big Data Insight Group’s own Dominic Pollard wrote about how big data is being used by sports teams to select the best players for their teams, à la the book-cum-movie Moneyball. This essentially does the job for you.
What kind of stats?
It’s linked to the Opta index, which is the Premier League’s preferred choice of statistics collation, monitoring everything from goals, possession, touches of the ball, completed runs and tackles and so forth. It also goes one step further – Squawka has developed its own algorithm which combines these stats with the ratings and sentiments that users express across the social media platforms to create an objective assessment of each player’s influence on a particular game.
So it’s a consumer app?
Precisely. It’s a ‘second screen’ application for use on your PC, Mac or tablet, meaning you use it on your computer while you’re also watching the match on your television.
So what’s the business link?
These days, consumer applications of new technology provide an inspiration for business use. Just look at how instant messaging and social networks have developed – the adoption by businesses is threatening to consign email to the history books. Things like Squawka could have a similar affect with big data, and particularly the accessibility and visualisation it provides. Imagine the value in being able to see holistic real-time data about how your business and the markets are operating.
Some businesses already have elements of this, but nothing to the same inclusiveness or complexity or – conversely – in such an easily readable and understandable format that it needs no training to begin using it. It’s a good bet that once more people begin to use applications like Squawka in their personal lives, they’ll bay for it in the workplace. The vendors will then need to step up.
Where can I get it?
From all the usual app stores and Squawker’s website: www.squawka.com. Best of all, it’s free.
So are any football managers paying attention yet?
It isn’t clear. But the good chaps over at Football365.com have used the app to find out what Roy Hodgson’s England Squad for the Euro 2012 squad could or perhaps should have been. Swansea City trio Nathan Dyer, Leon Britton and Scott Sinclair and Newcastle’s James Perch and Tottenham’s Ledley King are included, despite not getting a hint of sniff at the real squad. Predictably, as most football fans would guess, Stewart ‘No Goals, No Assists’ Downing and Andy ‘Can’t Hit a Cow’s Backside With a Banjo’ Carroll are not, despite their plane seat confirmed for the tournament.
If Roy had followed the stats the squad would have been:
Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Ben Foster (West Brom)
John Ruddy (Norwich City)
Joleon Lescott (Manchester City)
John Terry (Chelsea)
Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)
Ledley King (Tottenham)
James Perch (Newcastle United)
Phil Jones (Manchester United)
Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
Leon Britton (Swansea)
Scott Parker (Tottenham)
Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Adam Johnson (Manchester City)
Aaron Lennon (Tottenham)
Nathan Dyer (Swansea)
James Milner (Manchester City)
Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
Scott Sinclair (Swansea)