Bell Integration helps Stats Perform successfully integrate IBM i2 iBase and Analyst Notebook into its operations, architecting a world-class sports integrity system with extended dynamic intelligence capabilities.
Revolutionising sport with AI technologies
Formed in 2019 through the combination of Perform Content and STATS, Stats Perform is a market leading sports technology company whose joint history spans back over 40 years and uses its artificial intelligence powered engine to provide data, sports research, news and video to sports media, broadcasters, technology companies, global brands, sportsbooks, teams and leagues.
Serving four of the top-five most popular global sports broadcast companies, seven of the top-10 global tech companies, all of the top-10 sportsbooks and seven of the top-10 football (soccer) franchises, Stats Perform collects more than 30 million unique data points and distributes them to more than 1,800 customers, reaching over three billion fans a year.
Working alongside rights holders, betting operators, international federations and sports governing bodies, the company’s not-for-profit integrity unit utilises intelligence and other methodologies to safeguard the sports industry against a range of threats and risks – everything from spotting suspicious betting trends to eradicating corruption and match-fixing.
“Stats Perform collects more than 30 million unique data points and distributes them to more than 1,800 customers, reaching over three billion fans a year.”
Uniting disparate data sources
Managing and processing integrity-related intelligence stored disparately across the organisation into a single location ready for sophisticated analysis for both internal and external customers represented a major undertaking for the teams at Stats Perform’s Integrity Unit.
“We collect a huge amount of information, including detailed live data feedback from our scout network, match alerts from our proprietary betting market monitoring system and intelligence from our global intelligence network. Our challenge was twofold; collating all the intelligence stored disparately across the organisation into a single location ready for sophisticated analysis, and automating how we bring in contextual elements from our industry-leading data feeds and overlay this intelligence to identify irregular behaviours and add further value to our integrity analysis,” explains Nick Iliffe, Stats Perform’s Head of Integrity Intelligence.
To extend the capabilities of its integrity operations, the team at Stats Perform took the decision to implement IBM’s i2 Intelligence Analysis portfolio of tools and turned to Bell Integration to help setup its intelligence management and analysis system.
“Bell Integration quickly grasped our unique analytical environment and intelligence ambitions: merging structured and unstructured data from multiple sources to quickly uncover hidden patterns and relationships and sharing this intelligence with our partners and the relevant authorities,” continues Nick.
“Their expert insights helped us identify how we could innovate and make best use of our data resources in near real-time.”
Bell delivers expert know-how
Bell Integration’s team of i2 specialists quickly got to grips with the system deployment, architecting a bespoke solution with advanced connectivity to automate the harvesting and collation from multiple data feeds from across Stats Perform’s environment.
Featuring IBM i2 iBase, an intuitive data management application that allows Stats Perform to capture, control and analyse multi-source data in security-rich workgroup environments, Bell Integration mapped out a data model that’s tailored to the exact day-to-day operations of
the company’s intelligence unit. Designed to eliminate potential data loss or latency of Stat’s Perform products and to highlight potential corrupt activity in sport, the solution contains a host of add-on capabilities designed to boost the proactive capabilities of the
firm’s intelligence unit.
“Bell’s technical skills in the field of APIs meant they were able to import and integrate multiple data sources into our i2 intelligence analysis information store. As a result, our vision of being able to exploit information from across our organisation and beyond quickly came to fruition,” confirms Nick.
To further accelerate the integrity team’s ability to harvest intelligence, the Bell team implemented Sintelix, an advanced information extraction and visualisation tool that makes it possible to collect and extract information from external unstructured data sources – including social media – into the i2 environment.
“Bell Integration deployed the entire solution in a very short timeframe, working alongside our IT and internal infrastructure teams to ensure a smooth implementation process. They also worked with us to ensure the iBase system was custom built and structured to our exact use case,” continues Nick.
Intelligent by Design
Extending its boundaries and making it possible to easily ingest a flexible range of data sources at scale has deepened the ability of Stats Perform’s analysts and investigators to search large, complex and dynamic data sets and quickly uncover intelligence with the help of automated and assisted analytics.
“The solution has enabled us to become a truly intelligence-led organisation that can identify upcoming integrity threats and put in place, prevention, protection and enforcement provisions to mitigate against these risks,” says Nick.
“Bringing disparate intelligence from across Stats Perform into one place and using i2 iBase’s sophisticated Search 360 functionality to comprehensively search intelligence regarding of its format – records, charts or documents – means our teams no longer have to waste hours searching across previously unconnected databases and folders. In addition, iBase’s powerful query features enable our analysts to construct complex queries and interrogate bulk data to generate actionable intelligence in a timely manner,” he continues.
Automating data feeds to ensure the intelligence store is as up-to-the-moment as possible, Bell Integration also implemented IBM’s powerful i2 Analyst’s Notebook to give Stats Perform’s analysts the multidimensional visual analysis capabilities needed to quickly uncover previously hidden connections and patterns in data.
“Bell’s expertise at integrating our Opta and RunningBall feeds for automatic entity and record creation has saved our analysts hundreds of hours of manual data entry, freeing them up to concentrate on actual analysis and identifying the ‘why’ and ‘how’ as opposed to solely focusing on the ‘what’,” continues Nick.
But that’s not all. The powerful i2 solution enables the integrity unit to customise how it shares information and sensitive intelligence with partners, sports governing bodies, international federations and other members of the integrity community.
“Today we’re leveraging our global investigation capabilities to help stakeholders across the sports industry ensure their integrity programmes are truly fit-for-purpose. As the globalised legalised betting landscape continues to develop and evolve, we’re leading the way in identifying innovate ways to detect, investigate, monitor and respond to threats, while driving true collaboration between stakeholders in the fight against sporting corruption,” confirms Nick.
Bell Integration’s deep understanding of intelligence data management and analysis has helped to boost the intelligence gathering and analysis operations at Stats Perform. Today, the integrity unit analyses 110,000 match events each year, covering 16 sports disciplines and 60 major competitions.
Capable of handling 5,000,000 data feeds on a matchday, today Stats Perform’s analysts are able to harness advanced metrics on expected goals, player error stats and big chance metrics to deepen their understanding of how team or player performance in a match is deemed suspicious compared to an average performance.
“As an IBM platinum partner, we were confident that Bell Integration were true experts in the field of intelligence and data analysis. When we spoke with their consultants, they displayed a clear understanding of our needs and readily shared practical insights on how we could use IBM’s i2 solutions to assist our day-to-day work and make best use of our data in progressive and innovative ways,” says Nick.