Leading UK sports organization ups its data game to boost fan engagement

Company Overview

Like any modern sports and entertainment organization, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) needs to use data to drive business strategy, grow participation of players and fans, govern the game, and put the best teams on the pitch, injury free.

Business Needs

Like many organizations, the ECB had a technology stack that satisfied business processes: systems to keep track of professional league statistics, systems for amateur teams to organize and communicate, systems for sophisticated video and data analysis for elite performance improvement and sports science and medicine. But the true value of all of these data sets is unlocked when they are integrated together and put in the hands of the people who are able to action the insight they provide.
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To help the ECB realize the full potential of its data, Pythian architected and designed the platform to bring together many different data sources (19 and counting) for storage in the cloud. The system had to support data not just from internal sources, but also from external sports portals, players, partners, youth leagues, coaches and stadiums. It also needed a strong data governance strategy to manage the availability, usability, integrity and security of all that data. With this vast array of data sources finally brought together, the ECB had a new and stable foundation for building broad-based fan engagement. Pythian created the final architecture with the aid of several tools:
  • To implement the data lake, the software of choice was Cloudera Hadoop. Its combination of design fit, price, scalability and openness made it the right choice for ECB.
  • To manage the data lake, Pythian recommended Cloudera for its management of enterprise features such as security, encryption and data governance.
  • Pythian chose Google Cloud for its cost-effectiveness. Along with its great results on most performance benchmarks, GCP also offers flexible pricing without upfront or long-term commitments.
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The ECB has removed all the traditional bottlenecks associated with data management and business intelligence and created a platform that has revolutionized the ECB into an evidence based organization. This has transformed the way the ECB selects and prepares cricketers for ECB teams. It has helped the ECB understand and reach thousands more participants whether they are playing amateur cricket on a village green or beach, watching live cricket in a stadium or following cricket at home or on the go. It has also resulted in increased ticket sales, improved venues for matches, improved player selection, coach retention, youth team engagement and advertising, along with more effective investment in local playing facilities.
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Director of IT, England and Wales Cricket Board

"Pythian helped us unlock the value in our data by giving us a platform that enabled us to very quickly integrate disparate data sets and put actionable insight into the hands of the people that need it."


  • Big Data
  • Cloudera Hadoop, MapReduce
  • Google Cloud Platform: Google Dataproc, Google BigQuery, Google Cloud SQL, Google Cloud Compute Engine and Containers, Google Cloud Storage Buckets
  • Tableau
  • Outsystems

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