Big Data

MLB Data Lake…Play Ball!

Bill Schmarzo By Bill Schmarzo September 26, 2016

DELL EMC’s Isilon division has been working with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) to create a data lake that provides a seamless process to add and maintain massive amounts of video data to serve their baseball fanatics (like me). Here is a cool 2-minute video that shows how they did it.  The company operates the official web site for the league and the thirty Major League Baseball club web sites via MLB.com, which draws four million hits per day. It also provides the backend-streaming infrastructure for WWE Network, HBO NOW, NHL etc.

bill2

Figure 1: Data Lake as Collaborative Value Creation Platform

The data lake is a great repository for capturing all of the organization’s critical data.  For organizations trying to make the shift from treating data as a cost to be minimized to treating data as an asset to be exploited, the data lake is the perfect “collaborative value creation” platform that enables organizations to share valuable organizational data across multiple business use cases (see Figure 1).

But in order to derive and deliver value out of your data; that is, in order to monetize your organization’s data, the data lake must become more than just a data repository.  It needs the services and capabilities that allow organizations to capture, manage, enrich and share the data as seamlessly as possible.  Services like ingest management, indexing, cataloging, data governance, metadata management, security, privacy, lineage, traceability and others become critical to managing and sharing these new source of corporate intellectual capital (see Figure 2).

bill1

Figure 2: Big Data Analytics Reference Architecture

However, in the end, it is what you do with that data – how you are leveraging the data to optimize key business processes, uncover new monetization opportunities and drive a more compelling customer engagement – that really provides business or economic value to the organization.

Envisioning What MLB Could Do with the Customer Data

The key question that the MLBAM needs to be asking itself is how do they leverage the data lake to learn more about their customers, products (videos) and markets to optimize key business processes, create new monetization opportunities and create a more compelling customer engagement.

From a process optimization perspective, the customer viewing data in the data lake can uncover insights about your customers such as their tendencies, propensities, inclinations, trends, interests, passions, associations and affiliations.  With these customer usage insights, the MLB can now:

  • Optimize marketing campaigns by knowing what campaigns should be targeted at what types of customers and prospects
  • Improve customer acquisition by understanding the behaviors and tendencies of your customer in order to fine tune customer acquisition efforts
  • Improve customer retention by flagging changes earlier in the customer’s viewing behaviors that might be indicative of churn
  • Drive cross-sell and up-sell efforts by understanding what teams and types of games to promote to which customers
  • Promote customer advocacy by identifying and incenting your most loyal customers to promote your services across the different social media channels
  • Drive a more differentiated customer engagement by making it seamless for your customers to find the services, products and games that most interest them

The customers’ viewing patterns can also be exploited to create new monetization opportunities such as:

  • New services
  • New products
  • New channels
  • New platforms
  • New audiences
  • New markets
  • New partnerships

Driving a More Engaging Customer Experience

In the end, it’s really all about the customer and uncovering insights about their interests, passions, associations and affiliations in order to offer the right services at the right time at the right prices. The data lake provides MLBAM a seamless process to add and maintain massive amounts of video data, gain insights about their customers’ viewing patterns in order to more effectively serve their customers.

Oh, and by the way…

Go Cubbies!

mlb 3 pic

Bill Schmarzo

About Bill Schmarzo


Read More

Share this Story
Join the Conversation

Our Team becomes stronger with every person who adds to the conversation. So please join the conversation. Comment on our posts and share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *