Can You Use Data Revealed by Celonis Process Mining to Predict the Super Bowl?

Feb_NFL_Newman_main imageWinning the Super Bowl is hard. It takes skill, determination, and luck. When we were thinking about a fun way to show off process mining and Celonis, we saw football as a way to show the power of Celonis in a relatable way.

The best NFL teams know how to adapt to changing circumstances over a season. Every team suffers injuries, bad bounces, and poor decisions. The best teams self-analyze to understand their strengths and weaknesses and then adapt strategies to lean into strengths and mitigate weaknesses. The best teams make the playoffs and have a chance at a Super Bowl win with the right analysis (and luck).

Process mining helps businesses accomplish a similar goal. While there’s no end-of-year Super Bowl, successful companies continually self-evaluate and correct course to meet an ever-changing business landscape. Companies need data to do that. You need Celonis to access and analyze your data.

Why import football data into Celonis? We wanted to demonstrate two things: the flexibility of the tool and how it differs from traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools.

You can watch the video on the right for a quick look at Celonis and offensive play-calling stats that indicate scoring tendencies.

However, before we talk about business, a little football fun first.

Fun With Super Bowl Football Stats

By importing football data into Celonis, we demonstrate both aspects of Celonis – flexibility and that it’s more than a BI tool. We can see which drives ended up in touchdowns. We can look for correlations between running plays and pass plays and points-per-series. Which teams tend to pass on third down – what direction are they most effective doing so?

We can see that a team scored an average of 10 points in the red zone per opponent, we can drill into each series of downs in the red zone and identify *why* those series resulted in points. On a league whole, we can see that teams score an average of 0.46 points per series of 4 downs.

NFL_Screen 1_offense
When it comes to the Super Bowl, we analyzed the Rams and Bengals’ season tendencies and came up with some things to look out for during the big game (for the non-football fans, that’s what’s going on between the commercials and halftime show):

  • When the Rams pass on first down, they score .5 more points per series if they rush on second down (1.41 points per 36 series where they rush second play versus 0.94 points per 59 series where they pass second play
  • When the Rams are in the Red Zone, they score almost a whole point more when the first play is a pass  3.57 points per 28 series passing first versus 2.63 points per 33 series rushing first)
  • When the Bengals pass on second down, they pass again on third down over 70% of the time

When the Bengals rush on first down, they will score almost twice as many points if they pass on second down instead of rush. (.87 points per 62 series passing versus 0.46 points rushing on 39 series)

For football fans, it’s sometimes fun to slice and dice data to understand a favorite team. For non-football fans, we hope this short exercise illustrates to you that regardless of the data, Celonis is the tool to use to help you understand your data.

OK, let’s step back into how this relates to your business.

The Importance of a Flexible Tool

Why is it important to show flexibility? In many projects we see data sources that are not the traditional Celonis data sources. For many industries, such as manufacturing, there are a host of different data sources. At Doculabs, we take pride in our ability to go beyond Celonis’ prebuilt connectors and flat files.

We are comfortable pulling data from unknown sources, importing that data into the required event log format, and then mining that data for insights. Celonis is a powerful platform that rewards creativity. It hosts its own database, process mining engine, and analyses within the cloud. In this case, we pulled publicly available play-by-play data from the first half of the NFL season and imported it into Celonis.

Go Deeper Than Business Intelligence Tools

Why is it important to differentiate from traditional Business Intelligence tools? There are many possible BI tools currently on the market, i.e., Tableau or Yellowfin. They are commonly used to gather, process, analyze, and visualize large volumes of data. What they are not well equipped for is process-related data mining. While Celonis can easily act as a BI tool, it goes a step further by also relating all metrics back to the process. For instance, we not only can identify that “something is wrong” using Celonis, but we can also easily find the step in the process that is delaying cycle time or which steps are creating more rework.

Ready for Your Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl will be over by 9:30 or so this coming Sunday (February 13). We’ll still be interested in football as the Bears (and everyone else) gets ready for the 2022 season. Your business should be winning its “Super Bowl” every day.

What’s a Super Bowl win for business? Happy customers who continue to patronize your business and refer others to you. One of the best ways to win that ongoing game is to understand your business processes with Celonis process mining.

Ready to Improve Your Processes? Click here to get started.

Rich Medina
Doculabs Vision Team
Our blogs are a group effort, from writing to editing to brainstorming topics. We collaborate to provide you with our best thinking that will help you use technology to improve how your organization operates. The Doculabs blogging team is Richard Medina, James Watson, Marty Pavlik, and Tom Roberts.