This yearâs Tour de France was supposed to be different, with greater access to the teams, greater flows of big data info on riders and greater ways to watch the race unfold. But there have been some teething issues, understandably.
Last week we reported on Dimension Dataâs deal with the Tour, which promised fans immense arrays of information to follow their favourite riders and teams. We were told that we could follow any of our preferred cyclists (198 in total), measure gaps between groups, find real-time speeds etcâ¦
What has transpired has fallen a little shy of that so far. The data provided in the Twitter feed has been good, as have the wrap-up emails at the end of each stage. Thereâs just not a whole lot to them.
Thatâs because the beta website, the flagship tool for viewers, is not quite ready for the public.
After a weekâs testing at the CritÃ©rium du DauphinÃ© race last month, Dimension Data was fine-tuning its offering, with the team behind the data transmission currently putting the finishing touches on the upgrades.
Until then, no dice.
âI have a team of people in 11 cities around the world working around the clock to get this up and available as soon as possible,â explained Adam Foster, group executive for the communications business unit at Dimension Data.
A keen cyclist himself, Fosterâs pretty happy with how his companyâs project is going so far.
At the moment all the teams are receiving their fill of cyclist information, as isÂ Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO, the Tour de France organiser), with the Twitter handle @letourdataÂ rifling out information to the public all the time.
âIâve done less cycling since we agreed to work on the Tour de France than ever before!â
â ADAM FOSTER, DIMENSION DATA
Thereâs a short video infographic wrap of each dayâs stage (above), with the previously mentioned emails also serving a decent purpose, to tide us over until the site goes live.
But thereâs more to come, too, as Dimension Dataâs dealings with TV companies will soon show.
âAs soon as the data is ready youâll see different inlays that you havenât seen before on TV,â explained Foster. âTheyâre ready to go, we just have to make sure weâre populating it with good information.â
Itâs not just Dimension Data helping to make the Tour a more digital-friendly event. Velon âÂ a consortium of some of the top teams competing âÂ and ASOÂ have partnered with GoPro to produce added video of this yearâs Tour.
Footage from team cars, mechanics, bikes, and more will be available viewers.
But itâs Dimension Dataâs site that weâre all waiting on, something Foster and his team are working extensively to fix.
An avid cyclist, competing in triathalons and the likes himself, Fosterâs own life has been thrown upside down since his company partnered with ASO.
âIâve done less cycling since the agreement then Iâve ever done before,â he said.âThis has been a massive time commitment and the Dimension Data team hasÂ been unbelievable.
âItâs been a monumental undertaking,â he explained, before saying that, when live, Twitter users will be asked for feedback, to improve a service which he feels can be spread across other sports.
âWeâve had significant interest from other sports on the back of this,â he said. âBut all of our focus and attention is on making this event as successful as possible.â
Thatâs something that canât be determined until we get to play around with that site, though.
To read the original article on silicon republic, click here.