3 ways Data Science-as-a-service can help Sports teams

3 ways Data Science-as-a-service can help Sports teams

We’re continuing to see the same challenges in the professional sport industry. With an influx of data and information the number one question is evermore: how do I more rapidly gather insight and apply it to my organisation to effect behavioural change?

Most professional sport teams have already recognised the benefit of using technology. Some also have monitoring equipment and the information they need. The greatest difficulty for these is how to rapidly process all of this data to discover the insights locked within it and to produce information rapidly in-context and on-demand.

Visualising and consuming data is not only a technical challenge, it can also be highly time consuming for coaches and other sports professionals who’s primary role is dedicated to supporting and developing athletes and sports teams.

With this backdrop, we developed data science-as-a-service to provide a means for sports teams to distil their data and rapidly gather insights. Coaches and practitioners send in their data and performance questions and we send back answers, reports and recommendations.

Data science as a service for sports teams, offers a step change from what’s possible over traditional methods, focusing on maximum flexibility for the sports teams – even down to how data is returned, in a variety of formats, including csv, pdf reports and even animation or video.

The method for interacting with our systems is also flexible; one option sees coaches simply able to email data to a dedicated email address, or upload a file to cloud storage folder (e.g. Google Drive, OneDrive etc). Our team does do the rest, returning the processed results quickly, often saving hours of practitioner time spent handling data and enabling more focus on the work sports professionals are best at.

Here are three ways data science-as-a-service for sports teams can benefit an organisation:

Discover actionable insights

Improving performance is a constant focus in any organisation. Combining multiple data sources, from video through to pace, posture or diet, can help to identify actionable insights that could influence performance. From small improvements that may have never previously been considered to simply being able to quantify performance relationships, cause and effect, for the first time.

Information provided can then be utilised and acted upon. Knowing something as simple as the relationship between body composition and sporting performance for an individual athlete can be an invaluable guide to training program optimisation. Alternatively, presenting a GPS position together with environmental features (such as wind direction, course gradient or local buildings) together with a velocity profile can help identify whether focus needs to be on a particular technique or say on more physiological markers.

Insight on-demand

In a sports training environment, timing is key. Coaches need information fast and they need it wherever they are. Insight as and when required brings significant value by enabling technology to be used alongside training regimes everywhere. Coaches can test training methods with more in-session objective feedback in the form of detailed reports generated rapidly on-demand.

Data in-context

Data should be an enabler. If an athlete is working on improving their running speed, they need to be receiving a package of data that brings together information on how they can do that. Focusing on the data that is important and relevant helps to ensure that coaches understand how the decisions they make have an impact on performance. A reliable, systemised and automated process makes accessing insight more efficient, allowing coaches to get their hands on the exact information they need as and when they want it.

Pace Insights is a sport analytics consultancy. With 25 gold medal winning customers in Rio 2016, we work with high-performance sports to enhance their performance through better use of data and applied technology.

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