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Analytics Ingenuity on Display During Georgia Tech Hackathon

A total of 85 participants spanning 20 teams participated in this year’s Georgia Tech Sports Innovation Challenge.

A total of 85 participants spanning 20 teams participated in this year’s Georgia Tech Sports Innovation Challenge.

The Business Analytics Center recently teamed up with Georgia Tech Athletics to sponsor the second-annual Georgia Tech Sports Innovation Challenge, a 24-hour hackathon focused on leveraging data and analytics to improve sports performance.

Keith Werle, the BAC’s managing director, took part in the event, mentoring contest participants and judging the semi-final round.
"We loved sponsoring this event because the hackathon truly represents what the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Business Analytics Center are all about," said Werle. “The students used technological innovation, determination, analytic analysis, and creative insight to solve real-world problems in incredibly impressive ways.” 
Hackathon participants were invited to design and build new products to address specific challenges presented by Georgia Tech teams and other sports-related organizations. Participants could choose from six challenges:
  • Expanding Analytics (Georgia Tech Baseball)
  • Video/Object Tracking Technology (Georgia Tech Football)
  • Swimming “Power Tower” (Georgia Tech Swimming and Diving)
  • Basketball Fan Engagement (Turner Sports)
  • Predicting Baseball Game Attendance (Experience LLC)
  • Open Category – anything sports/data/analytics focused

Team projects selected to go to the final round were judged by a panel that included Scott Doyne, Turner Sports senior vice president for data strategy and insights, Karl Pierburg, AMB Sports & Entertainment vice president for technology, data and analytics; Lara Hodgson, NOW Corp co-founder and president; and Todd Stansbury, Georgia Tech director of athletics.

hackathon winnersWinning team members Beau MartinLeon Price, and Peter Oliveira Soens (shown here between Georgia Tech Assistant Athletic Director/Innovation Doug Allvine, far left, and Georgia Tech Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury, far right,) chose Challenge No. 3 (swimming “Power Tower”), developing the “Power Tracker,” a device that can automate, record, analyze and communicate data back to swimmers and coaches to help swimmers maintain efficiency and body position. The team will work with Georgia Tech swimming and diving to further develop the product.

Runners-up included “Pitchalytics,” a product developed to address Challenge No. 1 by Jack BennettRon KushkuleyZach Panzarino, and Alan Yadav, and “Datalysts,” a product developed to address Challenge No. 2 by Michael FarrenJohn HillYuzi HuNicholas Watney MeyerJonathan Womack, and Max Zuo.

“Huge shoutout to all of the amazing participants, the Georgia Tech faculty and corporate judges who gave time and energy to the event, and especially Doug Allvine, producer, director, MC and hack-master extraordinaire for putting on another fantastic Georgia Tech Sports Innovation Challenge,” concluded Werle.

Thanks are also due to the other event sponsors who included Turner Sports (Gold Sponsor); EarthLink & Accenture (Silver Sponsors); and HackGT, the Institute for Paper and Technology, The Coca Cola Company, and Pelori (In-kind Sponsors).

For more in-depth information and to see a video about the event, click on videos and photos

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