Big data can give athletes the winning edge

Sectors | Sports   |   
Published January 15, 2014   |   

Sport at the elite level has always adopted new technologies to capture data from players during play to better understand their performance and their team’s result.

Closely aligned with this is the practice of data analytics, and developments here tend to fall into two areas.

One is the refinement of existing (or the creation of new) technologies that measure an athlete’s activities. The other is the advent of data analysis tools that allow some meaning to be drawn from the collection of this data.

Because there is the potential for such a large amount of data to be collected during play, the focus on sports analytics is increasingly associated with what is referred to as big data.

SAP, one of the world’s largest software providers for business, has recently created applications for the sport and entertainment industry.

The idea is that sport at the professional level generates data from both fans and players, and that to manage and analyse this data the sports bodies will need powerful, real-time cloud-based technologies.

SAP assisted the US National Football League (NFL) to set up their Fantasy Football platform that allows fans to access a large amount of historical, contemporary and third-party sporting data. This enabled the fans to not only be more engaged with football in general, but allows them to be better informed in regards to their decision-making capabilities when playing Fantasy Football.

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