From left: Jarrod Ladouceur, Wendy Cukier, Brian Bulcke

Changing the Game with Analytics

by Wendy Cukier, Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Just this week, Ryerson University sponsored SportsHack, bringing together teams of hackers to compete in developing innovative sports-related software solutions. Sponsored by Ryerson, IBM and We Are Wearables, the CFL joined SportsHack as a development partner and provided data to competitors with the goal of building apps or software in the areas of fan engagement, promoting ticket sales and social media.

It was a key event for Ryerson to sponsor because innovation spans many disciplines. We are committed to the development in gaming, big data, visualization and 3D technologies, and across Canada’s information technology sector, but we are equally committed to finding new ways to drive the adoption of those technologies. It’s one thing to create new products and services, but if nobody uses them, you have no innovation.

Real-world sports-based big data was the technology focus of this year’s SportsHack because analytics rules the world now. Sports is a gigantic business that uses data about consumers’ behaviour to drive the creation of rich multifaceted experiences. It’s the convergence of entertainment, sport, retail, etc. that’s really driving the industry forward. There are huge opportunities to use the same kind of data to improve the performance of teachers in education or surgeons in healthcare.

Check out this story from IT Business for more info.

Ryerson’s recent partnership with Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology to form Innovate Incubate Network Canada (I-INC), a national research-driven incubator network, was key in taking SportsHack national this year.

 SportsHack was a great success

Thank you to all of the more than 170 participants who attended this three-day event. Congratulations to the national grand prize winning team, Fanalytics, from Toronto. They not only won the grand prize of working with the CFL and industry and academic mentors to bring their product to market, along with $4,500 cash and other supports, but they also won the Big Data University Prize in Toronto for “most innovative use of data,” among the Toronto teams. Their team’s software determined fan seating based on demographics to seat like-minded individuals together.