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Olympics set new standards in harnessing technology

The summer Oympics 2016 are over. The Paralympics  will start in Rio, September 7.  In the  gap, it is time to examine how technology is increasingly helping to make the Games, safer, better, fairer. We bring you multiple perspectives on this:

From: Atos, the  official  Infotech provider and IT backbone for the Rio Games:
IT security: real-time data analytics for safe-keeping the Games
: The more connected each Games become; the more complex and unique data will be generated. For sure these huge volumes of data can offer a great opportunity to capture and understand trends and behavior, and to use this actionable intelligence to benefit athletes, journalists, visitors, viewers, and online content users with predictive and personalized services. But there is another critical business area where using real-time data analysis techniques help: fighting cyber security. The Games are an iconic security target. At peak, Games systems hold the most critical personal data in the world. And with more information becoming freely available to users via the internet and on their own device, the increase in IT security events is daunting. Based on experience from recent Games, we   saw  over 200 IT security events per second  in Rio, most of them irrelevant warnings... This is not manageable: screens would be flickering all day long. So these needed to be reduced to 10 to 50 that are real. Using real-time data analysis tools, a set of rules searched through the millions of security logs generated every day. They were tracking nearly every hint of digital activity within the Olympic Games network, ensuring zero impact on the Games. Getting real value from that data required a new approach to business analysis and intelligence: new tools and competencies, and new innovative technologies that  managed the volume and variety of data, real-time.
Enriching the consumer experience: Sports fans everywhere have an insatiable thirst for information. Realtime results were  processed and transmitted to 8 billion multiple devices worldwide. With the use of new media and digital technologies, the Olympic Games were  superbly positioned to go a step further, reaching a global audience and provide fans with even more engaging and comprehensive content, wherever they are, whatever device they use.  Atos used innovative technologies that give viewers of live sporting events real-time results, statistics, biographies and social media conversations. Content  was at the fingertips of the fans. Anywhere, any device, real-time!

Outlook: cloudy! The Olympic Games are  a perfect fit for cloud computing. However, a comprehensive cloud solution must satisfy the unique, specialized and demanding operational and security risks associated with the Games. Those risks mean that the Olympic Games cannot rely on a standard shared cloud solution. The scale and intensity of its operations make a secure, dedicated, agile cloud infrastructure essential. Atos will use its affiliate Canopy, with EMC serving as its  delivery partner, for scalable cloud-based services and Infrastructure as a Service to transition most of the critical IT services provided by Atos today into the cloud for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games

Vishnu Anand writes ( courtesy  Edureka blog)
Thank you Big Data, for a disease-free Rio
The last 16 days or so have seen the best of sporting talent from across the world battle it out at scenic Rio., India will continue talking about its silver and bronze ladies for some time to come. Every participating country will talk about its heroes. But Brazil will heave a sigh of relief, especially the health officials who have successfully battled the challenge of the Zika virus, a threat that was looming in Olympian proportions.
Before the games began, a realistic estimate of a million people were believed to descend upon Rio  for the summer, a large enough number to send shockwaves all across Brazil. After all, it was a country that witnessed a serious outbreak of the Zika virus just a couple of months ago. A few athletes dropped out and many others were concerned about contracting the virus. Towards middle of the season, Indian wrestler Babita Kumari developed high fever, only to be tested negative to be Zika.
Brazil's battle with the Zika and its imminent victory has been possible only with clever use of technology, especially Big Data and Analytics that has provided the right data, at the right time, in the hands of the right people.
IBM was instrumental in helping the organizing committee to crowd source data from social media, such as organizing and arranging huge amounts of online data, including the frequency and distribution of social media comments and conversations about Zika and other viruses. IBM used its cloud computing backbone to analyze Portuguese-language Twitter postings about the virus as well as GPS-enabled data around the prevalence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads the Zika virus. All of this data was synced up with other auxiliary data like weather, location of airports around Brazil where potential Zika infected people are quarantined, and other high-risk areas to identify outbreaks, earmark high-risk areas and prevent probable infection to athletes as well as the global audience that descends on Rio.
The involvement of IBM will continue beyond the Olympics with an upcoming “hackathon” in Brazil where programmers will work on new apps, for example, to enable citizens to report sightings of mosquito larvae or local virus outbreaks to public health officials.