IBM: World’s Best Analytics Teams Compete for INFORMS Franz Edelman Award in Huntington Beach, CA

IBM: Predictive Cloud Computing with Big Data: Professional Golf and Tennis Forecasting

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, April 6, 2015 – The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®), the leading professional association in advanced analytics, will host six finalist organizations competing for the 2015 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award. The competition takes place on Monday, April 13 during the 2015 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. The prize is the world’s most prestigious recognition for excellence in applying advanced analytics to benefit business and humanitarian outcomes. 

IBM is one of the six finalist organizations, with a submission titled, “Predictive Cloud Computing with Big Data: Professional Golf and Tennis Forecasting.”

IBM invests upwards of $1.2 billion on marketing and promotional activities each year, of which a portion is allocated toward growing IBM’s long partnership history with many premier sporting events such as the Australian Open, Masters Golf Tournament, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open Golf, US Open Tennis, and China Open Tennis. IBM offers an exceptional digital experience during these events through the development and delivery of mobile applications, Web-based applications, scoring, social leader boards, live video, analytics, cloud computing services and on-premise support.

Professional Grand Slam tennis tournaments and golf major championships attract the best athletes in the world to compete on an international stage with worldwide public and media attention. The demand for digital content across these events during 2014 translated into 1.5 billion page views, 191 million sessions, 60 million unique visitors, 7.5 million live scoring updates, and 105,000 editorial updates per day, all growing at a rapid and dynamic rate driving increased and unforeseen demands on infrastructure resources. For example, we can experience an 800% increase in Internet traffic when comparing pre-tournament week to tournament week traffic patterns and orders of magnitude more increases comparing day-to-day traffic during a tournament. 

To better manage the impact sporting events have on digital platforms, especially computer and infrastructure services, in 2012 IBM launched a project to predict future demands on the digital platform in near real time. Using the data available, IBM developed analytical models that range from forecasting, predictive modeling, simulation, and big data algorithms, integrated together to form its Predictive Cloud Computing (PCC) system. 

PCC has helped deliver and influence the way fans and casual observers engage with these sporting events through exceptional digital experiences. For IBM, PCC brings expanding differentiation in cloud and analytics offerings, deeper operational efficiencies, and opens doors for innovative conversations with clients to drive top-line revenue. The current PCC system is expected to save 50.8% of cloud computing hours and estimates a net impact during 2014 of $573 million, with a 20-year period impact of $98 billion. Future uses of PCC will further optimize operations and logistics. The team expects an increased number of commercial engagements, additional domain adaptations of the system, refined operational efficiencies, and increased market awareness.  

This year’s finalists are:

  1. IBM for “Predictive Cloud Computing with Big Data: Professional Golf and Tennis Forecasting”
  2. Ingram Micro for “End-to-End Business Analytics and Optimization in Ingram Micro’s Two-Tier Distribution Business”
  3. LMI/Defense Logistics Agency for “Peak and Next Gen: Effective Inventory Control for Items with Infrequent or Frequent, Highly Variable Demand”
  4. Syngenta for “Good Growth through Advanced Analytics”
  5. Saudi Arabia Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs for “A Decision Support System for Hajj Crowd Management”
  6. U.S. Army and Sandia National Laboratories for “Maximizing the Army’s Future Contribution to Global Security Using the Capability Portfolio Analysis Tool (CPAT)”

Additional information about the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award and Competition can be found online at


INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in analytics and operations research (O.R.). INFORMS advances research, and develops and promotes best practices in analytics and O.R. through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professional development. INFORMS helps business, government, and other organization professionals make better decisions to drive value to their organizations and society. Our certification program (CAP®), highly cited publications, educational meetings and conferences, continuing education, industry and process-focused networking communities, competitions, and recognition provide professionals with the knowledge and connections they need to achieve ever greater value for their organizations. Further information about INFORMS, analytics, and operations research is at or @informs.


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