May 08, 2013
Data Insights in Basketball
By: Nathan Shetterley

Who does LeBron James assist the most? Let’s pretend for a second that you know nothing about the NBA. Not that hard for some of us. How would you have answered this question? Try googling it - and I’m sure you’ll eventually get to the answer, but it’s difficult to find. Business leaders face this challenge in answering their questions every day. For example, when do my east and west coast offices collaborate well and how can I encourage more collaboration?

(The answer to the first question is Chris Bosh, by the way.)

At Accenture Tech Labs we set aside time for our researchers to explore new technologies via their own interests and, sometimes, those explorations grow into projects. Recently, one of our researchers wanted to showcase how fast you can turn data into insights with the right team of data scientists, developers, and data artists. But what data set to use? For that, we returned to our basketball question above and chose the 2012-2013 NBA regular season.

Today, we’re proud to announce that one of these bottom-up projects was implemented last month and we want to share it with you. You can explore the results yourself at We also have a video walk through.

Hotshots Chart

The Basketball Data Insights web app is a data exploration tool built on open source technology that we like to refer to as Hotshot Charts. It allows you to easily explore whom your favorite NBA player assists and where he shoots from, with what accuracy.

Sports fans (fanatics?) aren’t the only ones who are looking to do more with data. Technology is moving analytical capability and data visualization closer and closer to business users who are asking their IT departments to help derive more and more value from their data. It is important for IT professionals to understand all of the options in their toolkit. Whether it’s custom development, via existing tools such as Tableau, QlikView, Spotfire, or emerging tools like Platfora, our Data Insights R&D team believes that businesses that enable conversations with data will have a competitive edge.

We invite you to have that competitive edge over your friends in debates about who will come away with the 2013 NBA Championship via our Hotshot Charts.

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