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by Graham Cookson
in Big Data , Sports betting
on 15 July 2014

Sports betting: Part 3: How Digital Contact can help spot outside influences

In the third and final part of our mini blog series on sports betting, we have a quick look at how Digital Contact can help spot the outside influences that might affect the odds on upcoming sporting events.

How Digital Contact can help

Using our proprietary Insights Engine, Digital Contact is able to monitor millions of data sources about any topic and curate any results pertaining to the user’s needs.

Taking the example of tennis and Wimbledon again, a bookmaker can use the Insights Engine to search for any piece of data from sources such as news sites to social media feeds, to find out any information relating to tennis players, or more specifically (in this case) Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov.

The results can be tailored precisely, depending on the information required, and results that come back can include historical information, such as the reports about previous matches the two players have had, or injuries sustained over time, as well as material on Murray’s back surgery and split from his coach.

As mentioned, all this information, including rumours surrounding a potential split from a partner, can cause potential performance issues for any athlete or team and will go on to help predict the possible outcomes of games more accurately than standard sporting statistics might.

Getting that information before anyone else

Ultimately there are other ways of finding this information, such as RSS feeds, monitoring social media and keeping an eye on news and gossip.

But all of that takes a lot of time and is very inefficient – especially if you want to know the information as soon as it happens and use it to your advantage, such as adjusting odds on upcoming games.

The Insights Engine, developed in-house by Digital Contact, is more advanced and accurate than a simple RSS feed and it doesn’t require the constant monitoring 24/7 that social media channels or news sites would.

Once the search parameters are set, the Insights Engine will scan millions of sources across the Internet, including news sites, blogs, forums and social media and deliver the results directly to you in real-time.

But rather than just a pile of sources mentioning your query, you will be given any information that is genuinely relevant and accurate.

The Insights Engine is capable of breaking those pieces of information down based on elements such as, location (where in the world the news comes from), sentiment (whether the information is positive or negative), the demographics (age ranges, genders etc…), how trustworthy/reliable the sources are and filtering out spam - such as pointless social media rambles that you don’t care about.

And rather than keeping an eye on the news constantly, the Insights Engine will alert you when it collates any information that you set out in pre-determined parameters.

Your information, your rules

Once the defined search results have been collated and delivered, it’s then up to the bookmaker to choose how to handle it.

Ultimately it’s the bookmaker’s expertise in the area and his/her decision making skills that help define which results to follow up on and use to alter the odds set out by them.

This is because the way that bookmakers interpret and define relevant results differs greatly, so while one bookie might see news about Andy Murray potentially going through a breakup and recovering from back surgery as something that will affect his game, other bookies might dismiss it and choose not to act upon such information.

Therefore, Digital Contact gives bookmakers the necessary tools to collect all the information that they require and it’s up to them to decide what they will use to gain the edge. The search results returned are there to validate each bookies’ individual analytics style.


When it comes to setting odds on any sports event, bookmakers need to ensure that their knowledge is better than that of those placing bets on the sport.

Having more accurate information on not only the sport, but every factor surrounding the sport, enables bookmakers to stay ahead of the game – setting odds that are appealing enough to the betters, but also ensuring they are making a handsome profit.

Digital Contact’s Insights Engine will enable bookmakers to gain a competitive edge, by helping them to see the bigger picture surrounding every event and understand the potential variables that could affect the outcome of a sport and (ultimately) affect the odds.

With better informed decisions from the Insights Engine’s real time search results, bookmakers can track any breaking piece of information and utilise it to their advantage, updating their odds to match their findings.

We hope this mini-series of blog posts has helped inform you about the benefits of spotting outside influences that can affect sports stars and, in turn, potentially change the odds on events.

If you would like to download this series in full, please click here for the pdf version of our white paper, 'Sports betting: The value of spotting outside influences'.


<<< Click here to read part two: How Murray lost his Wimbledon crown |

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