Accenture to Bring Machine Learning to International Rugby

Accenture is the Official Technology Partner of the RBS 6 Nations Rugby Championship for the sixth year. As such, the company is set to bring machine learning to international rugby through its latest analytics dashboard.

The dashboard will deliver improved player, match and Championship insight, which 20,000 people accessed via Twitter last year. Accenture has also developed an innovative mixed reality application for the Championship, using Virtual Reality (VR), with a twist. The one-person immersive VR experience is sharable, and broadcast as live action for others to watch.

Nick Millman, Managing Director of Accenture Analytics, part of Accenture Digital, commented: “The RBS 6 Nations is the world’s greatest Championship and a landmark in the European sporting calendar. It needs to deploy innovative technology to match. We’re bringing the latest Digital technologies to this year’s Championship to deliver new experiences with people as the focus. The innovations we’re making around the RBS 6 Nations are also applicable for businesses. Just as players are unpredictable, so are customers. It’s important for any entity – sporting, business or otherwise – to be agile and innovate constantly.”

Insights from the dashboard will be fed to the Accenture Analysis Team, made up of former players and coaches. Accenture Analytics applied Design Thinking to create a dashboard experience that users want, not simply a collection of stats. The latest data visualisation tools will help make the Analysis Team’s Championship commentary more informed and valuable for viewers. There is also a significant new development for this year: because players are not predictable, the dashboard now includes a stochastic layer. This ‘randomness engine’ uses machine learning to improve accuracy and depth of insights. 

To make the RBS 6 Nations more accessible, Accenture Mobility, part of Accenture Digital, will continue to power the Official Championship mobile app. During the last five RBS 6 Nations it received 3.9m downloads across 200 nations. It’s available for free download to Android, Kindle and iOS devices – including Apple Watch – in English, French and Italian. It integrates analytics insights from the Championship dashboard.

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