This content is part of the Essential Guide: SAP Sapphire Now 2014: Special conference coverage
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Germany's World Cup hopes now tied to SAP sports analytics

Just days before the World Cup kick off in Brazil, SAP is touting a new partnership with the German Soccer Association, in which SAP analytics is being used to help the team in the days leading up the games -- as well as during the tournament itself.

The sports analytics software runs on SAP HANA, the company's in-memory database platform.

Software records all of the players' movements and passes, according to SAP. Using analytics, coaches and trainers can assess how well the players are performing and what adjustments need to be made at the training level to correct inefficiencies or errors.

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"There will still be the gut feeling from the coach, and there will still be his personal decision [based on] his experience," Oliver Bierhoff, manager of the German national soccer team recently said. "But now, [with] the data he gets, he can see certain developments during the game … and see correlations. This helps him to make better decision."

The relationship is just the latest venture in which sporting teams and organizations are using SAP analytics for a range of purposes -- from the crunching of statistics to recruiting. Those partnerships include the National Basketball Association and the San Francisco 49ers.

In this video filmed on the floor of the SAP Sapphire Now 2014 user conference, SAP's Dennis Gerhlein walks us through how it all works, including the ability to analyze opposing players.

"It's definitely pioneering," Gerhlein said.

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