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Running the numbers for Rio 2016

Technology experts must combine the speed and accuracy of sprint runners with the patience and awareness of middle distance runners if they are to stay ahead of the competition.

Athletes in the 200m and 400m sprints must have a quick start out of the blocks and remain in their own lane but as close to the inside line as possible to finish first, while those in the 800m and 1500m have to pace themselves and pay close attention to competitors.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are known as the greatest major event on earth. In the lead up to the opening ceremony there were an estimated 8.5 billion connected devices worldwide. It stands to reason that millions of people will demand instant access to apps and websites during August and September. At London 2012 we know 1 billion people accessed the opening ceremony at the same time. Atos has anticipated even greater volumes of data this time, designing secure, reliable systems to deliver content including live video streaming and interactive programmes.

Thought-led technology

Analysing and anticipating how audiences experience the games is key to decision making. Atos technologists do this every day leading up to the spectacle. In science and business, Atos technologies help multiple countries extend precise weather predictions down to specific areas of just a few miles. They have enabled the first complete simulation of the universe to foresee its evolution over billions of years. They have also helped high-tech companies leverage simulation technologies to design energy-efficient engines of the future, already reducing carbon emissions by 16%, and planning to attain 50% by 2020.

At Atos, we know that cognitive solutions have come of age. Predictive technologies drive business benefits through insightful sales forecasting, campaigning, merchandising and assortment planning. Today, many of the largest banks and retailers leverage Atos services to enhance their ability to respond quickly to the changing marketplace. For a sports clothing manufacturer, Atos increased sales by up to 40% using an interactive virtual footwear wall. We also helped an insurance company boost its internet leads by 151%. Seeing trends early also leads to decreased costs.

In healthcare, we contributed to genomic analysis advances. Over ten years, the cost of human genome sequencing dropped 100,000 times and the analysis time from 13 years to 3 days. Today, our technologies enable one of the leading genomic institutes to provide high end DNA sequencing of 32 people per week.

This expertise has proven particularly useful for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, not only to better serve the audience but to serve billions of people individually. In the same way that an Atos product can allow a car buyer to select from millions of variants in colours, features and options, we can facilitate a bespoke Olympic and Paralympic experience. Personalised alerts on preferred sports and athletes, commentary and opinions are within reach. Our aim is to answer people’s needs and even predict them.

Wider business appeal

The lessons learned from predictive models in business have been applied in the Olympic and Paralympic Games; what we have learned at the Olympic and Paralympic Games allows demands to be met in a wider business community. Firms are more agile if they know their market inside out, can predict machine failure in their factories and have the data at hand to better forecast sales and deliver at the right time. With this rich information, they can make clear judgements whatever their industry; car manufacturing, food technology and agriculture, or even fashion. They can take practical steps to improve the customer experience across all physical and digital touchpoints (wearables, mobile, web, kiosks, stores or agencies) reduce down time and increase sales. Each of these industries has benefitted from experts’ abilities to spot trends and implement practical solutions into their products.

With the rise of the connected car, the motor industry has incorporated sophisticated entertainment and satellite navigation systems into vehicles, as well as computerised adjustments that can be made to the likes of suspension and engine performance. For example, we not only helped a car manufacturer to increase its digital lead by 30%, we helped them transform into a digital service provider and be awarded for the best connected car experience.

In food, anticipation of the literal appetite of customers allows manufacturers to anticipate the next big thing; whether that’s the influx of different global cuisines or healthy eating trends such as low wheat or low dairy. One high street retailer invested in large volumes of ‘spiralizing’ products only for the trend to catch on three months later than anticipated.

Atos has also worked with manufacturing clients to help them reduce machine down time by up to 30%. In utilities and telecoms, we know how to predict and fix network and infrastructure problems before they impact the service to the end customers. In finance, we have helped many of the largest banks reduce their risk management costs by up to 50% though unified data management analysis. Predictive analytics provides opportunities for greater flexibility.

Constant change

Atos is used to changes, and the diversity of those changes. Our tools allow companies and organisations – such as the IOC – to gain an advantage over others, to pioneer trends and adapt for their customers’ needs. We work for years in advance to anticipate demands and provide the underlying digital resources for success. So when Rio 2016 competitors are exceeding the limitations of sporting possibility in front of the cameras, we’ll be pushing the barriers of IT and technological infrastructure behind them. Atos, with its experience of global business and the greatest show on earth, will help companies truly unlock the full potential of predictive analytics to put themselves steps ahead of the competition in the digital era.