March Madness is upon us, and everyone is obsessing over their brackets. Analytics is big business in the sports world, and college basketball is no exception; almost every big program today has at least one full time employee in charge of statistical analysis. And when that data is not properly valued or stored, it can have severe consequences. While people following men’s college basketball have many websites dedicated to statistics, data for the women’s NCAA tournament was only hosted at WBBState.com, a vertical of data company National Statistical. Fivethirtyeight.com reports that that website went offline on February 29th when ServerAxis, the company that provided server space to National Statistical’s hosting company, suddenly took all of its equipment offline without warning, leaving women’s basketball fans in the dark just as March Madness was picking up.
Could analytics help with the frustrating search to find a parking space in big cities? Ford is testing a new app, GoPark, that aims to use crowdsourced data on parking and traffic conditions to keep drivers from circling around the block yet again. Using special tracking devices installed on cars with their owners’ permission, Ford will collect data from cars entering and leaving parking spaces within a certain area to predict how many spots are available. The app will also use parking regulation data to predict whether a parking space is valid and for how long it can be used.
A survey from last month by Prosper Insight and Analytics breaks down St. Patrick’s Day by the numbers. The 125 million consumers who plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s day say they will spend an average of $35.37 per person – a very slight decrease from last year’s $36.52, for an estimated total spending of $4.4 billion. The survey found that 31.3% plan to make a special St. Paddy’s Day dinner, 28.7% will head out to a bar or restaurant, 21.1% will attend a private party, and 82.1% will wear green.
Google released a new suite of marketing and analytics products on Tuesday. Known as Google Analytics 360 Suite, the package is designed to give marketers a centralized platform to track and store customer and analytics information. The tools in the package will enable marketers to personalize their websites depending on who is visiting, create interactive reports and dashboards, and connect to ad-buying software to help with targeted ad buys.