Dream11 AVP Solves Real-world Problems with Mathematical Modelling

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Meet Aditya, AVP - Analytics & Decision Science at Dream11. A sports fan with a deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of data, he sees his role not just as a job but a vocation. Aditya loves exploring insights hidden within vast datasets. For him, data isn't merely a set of numbers; it's a dynamic force capable of reshaping the world. In today’s #BeyondTheAlgorithm, Aditya shares his three-year journey of merging his passions—sports and technology at Dream11.

Aditya's Team

Let’s go back to the very beginning. What inspired you to pursue data science?

It all started way back at IIT KGP - my statistics professor introduced distributions and narrated the story of Poisson distributions. In the 19th century, a Prussian army officer examined records of the number of soldiers killed by horse kicks for 20 years. He found that the number of deaths followed a pattern that the Poisson distribution could model. What captured my imagination was that even though horse kicks might seem random and unpredictable, when you have data over a long period, the distribution of events can be statistically modelled, in this case as a Poisson distribution. I was instantly inspired to apply mathematics to solve real-world problems.

What motivated you to join the sports technology industry? And what exciting problems are you solving today?

I was inspired by a professor at INSEAD, an organisation where I worked for the football analytics centre in Abu Dhabi. We were trying to model a rare occurrence of a goal mathematically. As a sports fan, it felt like the perfect match to apply my technical skills to a game filled with emotions.

At Dream11, my team works on several interesting solutions in sports tech, ranging from forecasting problems, multi-arm bandits, experimentation strategies, personalisation, home screen optimization, customer experience, communication strategy and AI-based team recommendations. I find solving these unique problems for our 200 million users extremely fulfilling!

Team Party

Please share a moment when you felt like you’d hit a home run at Dream11.

It was the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match in 2022, where we could accurately predict the number of users expected to come onto our platform. Kudos to my team members who got it spot on. Evolving our ability to predict and prepare for the massive thriller which saw interest from global fans, was simply exhilarating. It was great to see Virat Kohli finish off in style,  while we also hit a home run with our projection capabilities.

How do you and your team work towards delivering a world-class user experience for sports fans on the Dream11 app?

Data obsession is our cultural tenet and as a part of the Data Center of Excellence team, we are the evangelists of this. Users don’t necessarily tell us what they want every time but they indicate them through their behaviors. We consistently empathise with user needs through their actions and provide Product Strategy recommendations to ease a user's cognitive load and optimise their app flows. Much of our personalisation efforts are geared towards giving users what they want, when and how they want it served.

What makes Dream11 different from other technology startups?

Transparency, as a cultural value right from the top, is unique at Dream11. We foster a culture that enables employees to openly and honestly express their opinions without fearing judgment. This takes years to build and is one of our biggest strengths. There is a conscious attempt to avoid HIPPO decisions. Employees can freely share insight into the decision-making process.

Team at stadium

What do you think about Mumbai becoming India’s next technology hub in India? Having worked in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai, I see a lot of potential for tech startups to grow in Mumbai. One unique aspect of Mumbai is the level of professionalism across all levels. As a city, it is known for its resilience, diversity, and safety for women and people, in general, willing to extend a helping hand to those in need -  a perfect set-up for building something from scratch and going through those struggles.

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