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The Duke Basketball Analytics Application: LSI and Duke University Transforms over 100 years of Stats using the Power of SAP HANA and LSI's Private Cloud with AWS

The Duke University Men’s Basketball team, also known as the Blue Devils, has been competing in NCAA Division I college basketball since 1905. Over the years, the Blue Devils have won some games, lost some games and have had some amazing players step onto their court. With over a hundred years of seasons under their belt, you think that it would be almost impossible to look back on the legacy that is the Blue Devils Basketball team. The truth is, up until a couple of years ago it was pretty hard. This all changed with the Duke Basketball Analytics Application created by LSI Consulting, some dedicated and passionate folks, and the latest in SAP technology.  

LSI took on the task of creating an app for players, students, and fans to keep track of all the current and past Duke Basketball stats. With over 100 years of stats, LSI knew that it was going to take the power of SAP HANA to get this app up and running. Before the app could even begin to be built, LSI needed the actual data, the stats. Only one person would have the information they needed to start to build their database. Curtis Snyder also is known as the godfather of the Duke Basketball Analytics App, was previously the Director of Internet Operations at Duke University. Snyder stored, organized and maintained Duke’s Basketball stats dating back to 1905. Snyder worked with LSI to get them the data they needed and organize it in the app’s new database.

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If Curtis Snyder is the godfather behind this app, Ryan Craig is the architect. Craig is the Executive Director of Digital Strategy for Duke University Athletics and worked with LSI to understand the operations of the app and the needs of the fans.  He was an essential component, working with LSI to understand the operations of the app and the needs of the fans. Craig also saw great marketing value in the app for video, ticket sales, and to expand their digital marketing presence.  

Every fan knows that few things match the excitement and thrill of a championship season, the ultimate KPI in sports. 351 teams compete in NCAA Division 1 Men’s basketball and 350 go home empty-handed at the end of the season, yet fans continue to return. The reason: the fan experience is all about 24/7 engagement before, during and after the season.  Fans are no longer passive observers – they participate, analyze, critique, fantasize and socialize with and about their favorite players and teams in real-time. In fact, graduate students from the Duke Fuqua Business School were part of our core project team to make this a solution built by Duke, for Duke, putting fans in the driver’s seat.

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From the start, LSI knew that SAP HANA was the right database to extract, transform and load information for this application, and that LSI's private cloud with AWS was the right place to host and manage the solution. To build the application, Kiran Mehendale from LSI was assigned as the Lead Architect. With the power of SAP HANA for the database and SAP UI being used for the front end, it all started to come together. As people started to use the app and realize the full capabilities of the database, positive feedback started coming in and suddenly Duke Basketball had a centralized place for all of their basketball statistics.

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The Duke Basketball Analytics App is always evolving with a go-live for enhancements happening every year since it was first created. So what’s coming next? Basketball fanatics can expect shot charts and more graphics to appear within the app. Users will soon have the ability to create their own graphics with templates provided by the app and multiple ways to customize their data and compare sessions and players. The possibilities are endless with this application.

LSI is proud to work with Duke University Athletics on the Basketball Analytics App as it continues to evolve. Thank you to everyone who made the app possible, to Curtis Snyder, Ryan Craig, and Kiran Mehendale and his Analytics & Technology team.

Thank you to Duke University for this amazing opportunity

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