MarkLogicâ€™s Metadata Solutions Powering BBC Sport Olympics Site
By Lyndsey Schaefer
When the 2012 Summer Olympics kick off this week in London, the BBC predicts that during the 100m finals, it will service a third of the UKâ€™s Internet traffic. This is in addition to the hundreds of millions of fans around the globe tuning into the Olympic Games. In order to handle the flow of traffic to its BBC Sport Web site, the broadcaster turned to new MESA member MarkLogic, a 10-year-old company that aims to solve problems of big data.
Matt Turner, worldwide director of media solutions for MarkLogic, says that the company enables entertainment companies to take a big data approach to creating and delivering their digital products.
With MarkLogicâ€™s help, the BBC was able to store everything in one place â€” from online publication coverage of the Olympics to second screen on-screen information shown in live streaming. With the 2012 Summer Olympics being dubbed as the most social Olympics in history, having the right infrastructure in place was key for the BBC.
â€śThe resulting system is the streamlining of operations that is also faster to develop that has a lot of efficiencies,â€ť Turner says. â€śThere is an 80 percent reduction in data modeling and loading. They can combine everything into one system with a big data approach and in turn become more efficient.â€ť
At the MarkLogicWorld event this past May, Jem Rayfield, lead technical architect for the BBC, shared more details on the BBCâ€™s Olympics site.
â€śWe have a fairly big site for the Olympics, approximately 15,000 pages â€” a page for every athlete, page for every country, page for every discipline, venue, event, etc.,â€ť Rayfield says. â€śThe breadth of the content is absolutely huge and there was absolutely no way we could manage it using traditional CMS approaches.
â€śWe needed world class statistics method of delivering event results, medals, when the wind changes and more. Huge amounts of transactions per second. Weâ€™re expecting 3,000 sports stats a second coming into our MarkLogic instance,â€ť Rayfield continues.
MarkLogicâ€™s big data solution helps the BBC manage and position all of the information on its Olympics pages, from sports schedules and statistics to athlete biographies and to-the-minute live updates. The metadata information gets people to what theyâ€™re looking for, which are very dynamic pages of information, Turner says.
â€śAll of the video overlays and live stats that happen in real-time all are built on MarkLogic. Weâ€™ll have 24 live streams each one of those will have real-time live statistics coming in time coded. Youâ€™ll be able to, in real time as the video is happening, jump back, go forward to time coded events in metadata using MarkLogic,â€ť Rayfield says.
â€śThe most social Olympics starts with the BBC focusing on the digital experience with the same intensity as the video experience. The digital experience is dynamic, and up-to-date, so when scores change, itâ€™s a part of their second screen experience, enabling them to be immersed beyond the video. Itâ€™s a mainstream site using a big data approach for the first time. Our system is built to do it,â€ť Turner says.
The work that MarkLogic did for BBC Sport is just one example of the companyâ€™s portfolio of metadata management capabilities. For more information, visit www.marklogic.com or follow @MarkLogic on Twitter for updates, including more news on the Olympics as they unfold.