We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website, If you continue to use our site without changing your cookie settings, you agree to our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. For further information on how we use cookies, see our cookies statement. 

Cookie Settings

You can manage your cookie settings by turning cookies on and off.

Click on the different cookie  headings to find out more about the types of cookies we use on this site and to change your settings. Please be aware that if you choose to turn off  cookies, certain areas of our site may not work and your browsing experience may be impacted.

For further information on how we use cookies, please see our cookies statement. 

Strictly Necessary Cookies

(Req)

These cookies are essential for the technical operation of and proper functioning of our site  and enable you to register and login, to easily move around our site, and to access secure areas. Without these cookies our site won't function properly.  

These cookies are required

Performance Cookies

Performance cookies allow us to collect aggregated and anonymous data on how our site is used, such as the number of visitors to our site, how you navigate around and the time spent on our site and also to identify any errors in functionality. These cookies also help us to improve the way our site works by ensuring that you can find what you’re looking for easily, to better understand what you are interested in and to measure the effectiveness of the content of our site. 

Marketing Cookies

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal information is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from Dimension Data only.

Guest Blog Post - Tech de France

Blog

I have a confession to make, well two actually – data doesn’t turn me on and I haven’t ridden a push bike on a road for some time. All the more reason to spend a couple of days with Dimension Data at the Tour de France.

Before I continue, let me justify the above statement. It’s not the data that turns me off, it’s the process. I have something close to a panic attack when I open a spreadsheet. What I love are the qualities of well presented data. This isn’t a plea to make better pie charts, but making them easier to consume.

As for my second confession. I like bikes, and can appreciate their aesthetic appeal, amazing technological build and production and how they offer a better cardio workout than sitting on a bus. But I’d ride in the safety car!

Dimension Data invited me to put aside my indifference by combining data and cycling and what better way to do this than at the world’s premier pedallathon – the Tour de France.

There was of course method in their madness as Dimension Data is the South Africa headquartered IT solutions giant responsible for sweeping the Tour de France into the modern age with a stunning network of connectivity, data analytics and visualisation.

This winning partnership began its monumental journey a little over three years ago when Dimension Data had just six months to turn an initial conversation into state-of-the-art live data broadcast material!

Now in the third year of the partnership, Dimension Data plays a major role in the technology behind the Tour de France experience - learn more on how technology is bringing the race into the 21st century.

To put this into context, the first year of the relationship saw Dimension Data handle data analytics for the race. By the second year, it also took control of the sensors on each bike. This allowed each bike to seamlessly transmit data via the cloud to the race nerve centre - Dimension Data’s big data truck. From there it went live to an ecosystem of broadcasters and sports commentators as well as to a dedicated team of data experts in London responsible for producing data visualisations for the Tour’s social media channels. This year Dimension Data brought some new technologies into the mix in the form of predictive analytics and machine learning which it used to predict likely stage results, adding deeper insight and colour to the race commentary with the ultimate goal of increasing the engagement of cycling fans.

The system proved to be more accurate than even Dimension Data’s experts anticipated. Over the 21 stages of the race, it knotched up over 70% accuracy for predicting the Top 5 riders. However, they were quick to point out that the objective was not to create a perfect model for race predictions - for or a live sporting event (with crashes, injuries and good old mother Nature to contend with) that would be impossible and detract from the exciting and dynamic nature of the race.

What we can be sure of though is that as these technologies consume and learn from more and more data, they will continue to improve and help people to excel in whatever field – from sports commentating to medicine to teaching.

There are very few events in the sporting calendar that demand such synergy between competitors, their equipment and all team members but the sheer scale of the Tour de France organisation and logistics lends itself to automotive challenges such as the Dakar Rally – actually in Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.)’s stable alongside the Tour de France.

As the demand for social broadcasts increases dramatically (the Tour de France video views rose from 6M to 55M between 2014 and 2016!) so competitive sport evolves to deliver appropriate content to a digitally native audience. New sporting series crying out for this include drone racing, Formula E and the fabulous combination of design, drama and artificial intelligence – Roborace. Watch this space as the next few years will see sports broadcasting provide an accelerated development platform that improves IoT for us all.

Until then, Dimension Data will continue to drive the Tour de France into the 21st century, and deliver live content to demanding fans around the world.

Previous Article: Predicting the machine-learning future Next Article: Analytics in Action – Stage 21

You may be interested in

Blog

Using technology to enable Team Dimension Data to succeed

Businesses in every industry are figuring out how to use technology to drive their desired business outcomes. The business of sport is no exception.

Read blog
Five machine-learning lessons from the Tour de France thubmnail
Blog

Five machine-learning lessons from the Tour de France

Predictive analytics and machine learning have the potential to transform the world of sport. The exponential growth in this area is making it possible to predict the outcomes of sports events, a step beyond merely analysing historical data.

Read blog
Guest Blog: How IoT data is helping companies uncover big value in the little things
Blog

Guest Blog: How IoT data is helping companies uncover big value in the little things

Let’s start by saying that, much to my Welsh parent’s dismay, I’m not much of a sports fan! I’m a technologist who has little interest in watching a ball being kicked or tossed around a field and would much rather view strings of code working together in unison to form the perfect programming gameplay. I do however see a synergy between technology and sports and am both intrigued and excited by the way this relationship is steadily evolving.

Read blog
Predicting the machine-learning future
Blog

Predicting the machine-learning future

From real-time predictions of pro cycling race scenarios, to self-driving cars – here’s what machine learning will offer digital businesses

Read blog

Let's talk about how we'll help accelerate your digital business.

South Africa
I’d like to receive marketing communications about Dimension Data’s products and services.

By clicking Submit below, you are agreeing to the Dimension Data Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy