Top 4 Game Disrupting Ways – Sports Analytics
By Aditi Bhat
The major disruption across industries that has happened or will take place in the near future can be attributed to data-related technology. Data science and crucial insights gained out of it; is breaking barriers and leading businesses to new avenues for growth and improvements. The world of sports too has been a beneficiary of analytics and it’s changing faster than it ever did in the past.
Sports Analytics has empowered stakeholders at all levels to do a better job. Be it the players on the field, the coach, the key decision makers or fans, the ability to find crucial insights from chunks of data have empowered them to take better decisions. Let’s look at four interesting ways in which sports analytics is making a difference.
Real-time data collection and analysis – With a lot cameras installed around the playing area, there’s hardly anything that goes missing nowadays. Tons of data is thus collected and categorised accordingly by data scientists. A company called Zebra Technologies makes RFID tags that can be attached to balls and playing equipment to record movement and speed. This tag has a blinking speed of 25 clicks per second and sends out data in 120 milliseconds. Such granular data can be analysed by fitness experts and coaches to get crucial insights on players and correct their techniques.
Player Auctioning and Squad Selection – Be it the EPL, NBA or the IPL, there’s a lot of money that goes into these tournaments. Earlier such selections depended on rudimentary data and hunch of the selectors. However, that’s an old world story now, as analytics are the new decision makers. Every detailed information on players, their strengths and weaknesses are easily available now. Coaches and selectors can gauge a player’s performance against a particular opposition and accordingly pick or drop a player from the squad.
Customised Coaching and Player Fitness – Gone are the days when players underwent the same physical training and routine drill. With detailed information available on every player, fitness experts and coaches can now customise training, diet and coaching for individual players. Needless to say, this has been a huge success. Virat Kohli for instance, has a training and diet plan that’s customised on his job on the field and the results testifies the effectiveness.
Increasing fan engagements – The IPL in India has been an absolute rage. In the 10 editions that have been organised so far, the popularity has only soared higher. This year they have introduced the ‘Dream 11 Fantasy League’ – an online game, where an individual can choose players and create a virtual team on a match day. Depending on the chosen players’ performance on that day, they can earn points and encash it. This has further popularised the sport by engaging fans. A lot of fans have already won big amounts and revealed that they closely follow all the stats and that enables them to make better assumptions on how players are going to perform on a given day against a given opponent.
Data science and analytics can still be considered to be at a nascent stage as a lot of data that are captured are not taken into consideration. With smarter devices and more data scientists, there will be critical analysis and minute revelations that will have a much larger impact.