Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for February 3rd, 2010

Some Sporting Predictions

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If you read this blog with any regularity (or even if you don’t), you know that I’m a pretty rabid sports fan.

As in, a lot of sports.

I play golf these days; am still a mountain biker when I’m not on an airplane; played basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and golf in high school (and ran cross country); and I still wish I could have been George Plimpton (I did meet him once at a bar in NY…really nice guy) so I could live out my Walter Mitty sports fantasy.

I read Michael Lewis’ Moneyball with great fascination, learning about the Oakland A’s using player performance stats to build a competitive baseball franchise in a smaller market than the Yanks or the Red Sox.

Of course, the blending of data analytics and virtual sports didn’t end with baseball.

NFL players are now using their experiences playing Electronic Arts’ Madden football franchise to learn new moves off the field via their big screen TVs, only to implement them later on the field.

And a survey conducted by the University of Oregon of more than 15,000 NFL fans found that those who play Madden’s virtual football regularly were found to have a 60% higher football IQ than the average football fan.

In light of the coming SuperBowl championship between the New Orleans “Who Dat” Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, Scott Laningham and I thought we’d get into the spirit of the season and pursue the intersection of sports and data analytics in a podcast interview with an old friend of mine, Gibby McCaleb, chief operating officer of sports forecasting firm, AccuScore.

AccuScore feeds sports predictions to the likes of Yahoo, ESPN, CBS Sports, and others, and though we’re both fans of the Dallas Cowboys (along with Scott), we put our disappointment and biases aside long enough to talk about AccuScore’s prediction model and the opportunities and challenges presented by sports forecasting.

This was a fun one, and Gibby even gave us a sneak preview into AccuScore’s call on this year’s big game!

You can listen to the podcast here (MP3, 17:42), and you can read more about AccuScore’s SuperBowl 44 forecast here.

Written by turbotodd

February 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm

IBM to Acquire Initiate Systems

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IBM announced today it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Initiate Systems, a market leader in data integrity software for information sharing among healthcare and government organizations.

Financial details were not disclosed.

This deal advances IBM’s continued juggernaut in the business analytics and optimization arena, this time with a focus on helping healthcare organizations and governments around the globe by helping ensure the delivery of trusted and accurate information.

Healthcare  providers are facing a huge challenge — integrating accurate information from hundreds of sources. This information is spread across hospitals, doctors’ offices and healthcare providers hindering proper patient care and raising medical costs.

Hospitals, integrated delivery networks, insurers and governments, all have been seeking to create systems that share a consistent view of all critical information as a means of improving both patient health and efficiency.

Initiate’s software has helped bring together data from separate systems managed by hospitals, doctors’ offices and payers at more than 2,400 healthcare sites and over 40 health information exchanges, and government health systems around the world including CVS/Caremark,  Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Initiate’s technology also helps speed the adoption and exchange of electronic medical records, and in the public sector, helps provide government agencies access to pertinent information across multiple systems.

Healthcare and life sciences are a multi-billion dollar business for IBM, which has worked on more than 3,000 healthcare transformation initiatives ranging from small hospitals to national healthcare projects.  IBM has more than 4,000 employees dedicated to healthcare and a network of more than 1,800 business partners.

This is IBM’s 30th acquisition aimed at advancing its ability to help clients – in this case the healthcare and government sectors – use information and business analytics to better serve the public.

Since 2005, IBM has invested $10 billion in 14 other strategic acquisitions to build its business analytics portfolio.

Written by turbotodd

February 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm

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