Analytics is Witnessing Increasing Role in Sports

Professional sports industry is forecasted by Forbes to reach US$ 75bn by 2019. Due to this an entire new industry of research has sprung around sports analytics especially for pro-league matches of Football. Sports analytics first started in 2002. Being successful in sports requires a definite science and deal with numbers and not just skill, teamwork and discipline. The statistics and analytics are important for professional sports to determine the composition of team, to optimize performance and to prevent injury.

Data capture and analysis

Modern football analytics is a reality now. Though there are fewer matches in football which is the most popular sport in world as compared to basketball and baseball, the data gathered is sufficient for data analytics. There is structured process for analysis and dedicated analysts to process data for performance analysis in the major football clubs. The players wear GPS trackers; devices to monitor heart beat rate and sensors to capture every movement. This paradigm shift can be explained by collection of rich data which enable analysts to gain insights into every moment of the game, to predict and to take precaution for future games. New resources have been developed by these clubs to understand and interpret the data in order to gain competitive edge.

Analytics has proven its worth in recent past

Data analytics played a huge role in Germany winning the 2014 world cup. The team entered into collaboration with SAP AG to create a custom tool called “Match Insights” to collect and analyze data on player performance data. Performance metrics were improved for each player according to the analysis provided by the tool in order to optimize team performance. Due to this the speed of passing the ball was improved by a lot which in turn contributed to the team’s victory in the world cup match with Argentina in 2014. However this kind of predictive analysis works well only when there is no dearth of data. The more the data available, the better will be predictive analysis.

Its utility

The data gathered is not only used for improvement in performance of players but also the entire team and club management. Sports is organized businesses now-a-days largely facilitated by analytics. This is still an emerging field for analytics as the professional sports teams are still small as compared to businesses in financial, FMCG and retail sectors.

Key takeaway

?Therefore data and performance indicators can be deployed to improve performance. The biggest lesson is that for improvement, data analytics is the most crucial pillar and regardless of the area where analytics is being used, it helps in decision making which is the foundation for any organization, business or venture.


akshay Posted 04 June 2017


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