NLP technology captures social media data
Edge Up Sports built the foundation of its business by developing a sports insight app that embeds IBM Watson APIs from the IBM Watson Developer Cloud. The app retrieves stories about particular players and then uses sentiment analysis to filter through the unstructured text within stories and reports. Algorithms then characterize whether the player’s trajectory is positive, negative or neutral, providing supporting information such as injuries or short-term performance trends. By performing this analysis for an owner’s entire team, the solution provides insights on how the roster is changing throughout the week so that the owner can make roster adjustments to improve the likelihood of winning. One important aspect of the solution is that it doesn’t automatically take the objectivity of the source for granted. By running the content associated with a particular columnist, for example, through a personality assessment algorithm, the solution can essentially weight, or adjust, the columnist’s input into the collective assessment model. The net result is a broad, up-to-date and objective assessment of a particular player’s likely near-term performance in the coming weekly football game.
Solution improves roster decision making
The solution is expected to drive increased adoption of fantasy football by simplifying the research process, which in turn reduces the time owners spend performing player research. The solution is also expected to improve the quality of roster decision making by distilling evidence-based player sentiment trends from a wider variety of sources.
The soaring popularity of fantasy football mirrors the broader rise in the use of metrics in sports to make team roster decisions. That makes player research a core competency. The Edge Up Sports solution is game-changing for fantasy football because it enables team owners to cut through the noise, spin and biases prevalent in sports coverage to uncover the true arc of a player’s overall development.
As a rule, even a casual participant of fantasy football can spend hours each week researching information on a player to predict his future performance. The fact that humans can choose from only a limited number of sources builds in an inherent bias to roster decision making. The fact that the Edge Up Sports app uses cognitive technology to take an objective, evidence-based and larger-scale approach to assessing a player’s performance metrics improves the ability to predict future player performance.
The solution employs a mix of unstructured and structured data. The unstructured data is principally open source text content captured from news articles, opinion columns and analyst reports. This data is supplemented by structured data, mainly player and team statistics, purchased from third-party sources.