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NHL wants to use big data to help give fans new insight into game

The NHL wants to provide collected game data straight to viewers, and it looks like big data could be the answer

By: Michael Hatamoto from Mar 30, 2015 @ 17:30 CDT

Following in the footsteps of the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), it looks like the National Hockey League (NHL) wants to provide a wider variety of statistics to hockey fans.


The league is currently in the process of digitizing statistics that go back almost a century, hoping the effort will keep hardcore hockey fans more engaged. There was a belief that trying to collect hockey statistics is a bit more difficult, as the game is fast-moving and players are able to move onto and off the ice constantly, but the NHL wants to prove that isn't necessarily true.

The stats have been renamed and the NHL wants to deploy a new algorithm in time to collect data on every game during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs - with data related to home and road records, goals against, special team statistics, and other data collected and sorted.

"This cottage industry has popped up around our statistics about applying enhanced analytics or statistics around our games," said Steve McArdle, EVP of Digital Media and Strategy Planning for the NHL, in a statement to CIO. "We strive to make the home for all official conversations around hockey at the NHL level. That was kind of the impetus. We have the data. We have the official statistics around the game and our real-time scoring system. We get the data faster than anyone else."

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