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Guidance and results for the data-rich, yet information-poor.

Taking Predictive Analytics Out to the Ball Game

CaughtBallPredictive analytics isn’t just creating improvements in existing businesses. It is also fueling the creation of brand new companies and products.

Take Ideal Seat, a start-up that Geek Wire recently showcased. Ideal Seat is an iPhone app that uses predictive analytics to show fans where they should sit if they want to catch foul balls at baseball games.

The app only covers two stadiums right now, as the Ideal Seat team had to gather their data in person at Safeco Stadium and Citi Field. However, they are already planning to gather data from additional stadiums.

It doesn’t just have to be about foul balls–how about the seats closest to your favorite beer? What about the places that have the least amount of sun?

…Long term, I could see a company like Ticket Master or Stub Hub incorporating this type of technology into their platforms–and it doesn’t just have to be professional baseball. It could also be implemented past athletics to something like music concerts, where the app could tell you where the speakers are so you aren’t blowing your ear drums out during a show.

The app thus has the power to help each fan customize their own experience at any given entertainment venue, so long as someone continues to gather the data and write the models that will allow it to make those kinds of useful predictions. This will increase fan engagement, which in turn has the potential to revitalize ticket sales, which are falling for sports venues and music venues alike.

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