Andrew McIntyre, VP of Technology for the Chicago Cubs, explains how the franchise is using data
to re-imagine processes and strategies—both on the field and within the business.

"Data is the key to understanding the best way to monetize our assets and achieve our goals."

Andrew McIntyre, VP of Technology, Chicago Cubs

The Need for Transformation

When Andrew McIntyre joined the Chicago Cubs in 2011, he was handed a rubber stamp—to code his manually processed paper invoices.

That’s when he realized the scale of his challenge.

To transform one of baseball's oldest franchises into a next-generation intelligent enterprise, the Cubs needed a complete digital makeover: new technology, new processes, and a new mind-set. Andrew’s plan was to put those in place so his team could generate more revenue and improve the fan experience.

Data Drives the Business of Baseball

Andrew and his team knew that the right data strategy would help them achieve these objectives.

Accurate customer data, for instance, could inform decision-making across the business and help improve existing processes, such as pricing methodologies.

So Andrew and team launched three key initiatives:

  • Customer management: To understand and improve the fan experience.
  • Enterprise data management: To ensure data was being used to make strategic decisions within the business.
  • Infrastructure: To give fans fast, uninterrupted wireless Internet access across the campus, and enable the Cubs to track customer behavior.

The Rewards of Transformation

Today, the Cubs franchise is a truly data-centric business, using trusted, relevant data to deliver: 

A clearer understanding of the market, using predictive and prescriptive modeling to analyze products and prices.

A streamlined inventory management process so that tickets are released in minutes, not days.

A new and improved approach to data management and governance, letting business decision makers quickly identify new patterns and measure the impact of key decisions. 

Better modeling to measure the performance of the franchise based on a variety of customer behaviors outside, as well as inside, the park.

A robust customer relationship management platform, integrating all transactional data, with unique customer and persona identification.

Data’s Role on the Diamond

The Cubs’ use of data extends beyond the office. Management uses data to drive intelligent disruption in the baseball business to drive draft picks, trade negotiations, and more. And video footage is converted to data for computer analysis, assisting coaches, and driving on-field decisions on game day.

Insights range from better defensive positioning to understanding each umpire’s strike zone.

The Cubs’ Journey to Cloud

Since Andrew joined the Cubs in 2011, the franchise has used the cloud to support its on-premises solutions, lowering costs and improving speed of execution.

But over the last six years, the balance has shifted, with the franchise investing heavily in cloud solutions. Today, the cloud is enabling the business to do more sophisticated analytics, with predictive and prescriptive modeling solutions now crucial components of the Cubs’ IT infrastructure.

The fans aren’t screaming his name, but Andrew is transforming this historic club. Not only has he modernized the Cubs’ outdated processes and legacy technology—he’s put data at the heart of everything the Cubs do.

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