NBA Gives Basketball Nerds the Gift of Big Data

Christmas just came six weeks late for basketball nerds.

The NBA will launch a new tool at midnight EST on Friday that gives hardcore and casual hoops fans alike access to an overwhelming amount of historical stats and data. Found, it includes box scores for every game dating back to the NBA’s first season in 1946, as well as deep historical dives on player performance and effective team combinations.


Users will be able to access an incredible total of 4.5 quadrillion statistical combinations, according to Ken De Gennaro, the NBA’s vice president of information technology.

Powered by the enterprise and analytics software company SAP, appears to be an unprecedented step by a sports league into officially opening the gates of big data for fans.

An editorial component rounds out all the number crunching. It highlights certain stats and box scores from famous games, as well as contains a glossary section that explains some of the more advanced stats.

Each page also includes buttons to quickly share whatever you’re looking at via Facebook, Google+ or Twitter — so all that trash talking on social media may finally have some substance.

As for what all this means for SAP‘s potential in sports beyond basketball?

“Our partnership with the NBA enables fans to enjoy a deeper level of insight and feeling of connection to their favorite players and teams,” SAP’s senior vice president of sports and entertainment, Steve Peck, tells Mashable via email. “In this way, SAP helps the NBA to reach fans like never before. This is just a precursor of what SAP is capable of in the world of sports.”

Why I’m Curious: Since most of the obvious brands that have big data are still trying to figure out a way to make it relevant, I thought it was interesting to see an entertainment brand use data for exactly what it is. Plus hitting on an insight that most sports fan are heavily interested (obsessed) with statistics of players and games. They even tied in social to make most of the facts and numbers shareable so when people turn to Twitter to talk smack, they have the numbers to back it up.


Share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s