The Rise of Data Analytics in Sport

Last weekend ( more specifically Sunday 14th May 2017) saw the play-off final of England’s National League, the top division of the National League in England. The winners, Forest Green Rovers were promoted in to the English Football League for the first time in its 128-year history. 


There were many deciding factors that lead to this happening and one that is shared with last year’s winners of the English Premier League, Leicester City, and that is data analytics.

There has been a huge rise in the use of data analytics in football as documented here. data analytics is used both on and off the field, even including player recruitment. An article from the Opta Pro blog on Leicester in 2015 stated: ‘Leicester aren’t the only club to implement data-led analysis, but they are an excellent case study of what a progressive, forward-thinking club will look like. Through their cross-departmental relationships, a willingness to embrace new styles of working and constant evaluation process, data analysis is certainly part of the furniture here at the King Power.’

Sports analysts are involved in player recruitment, nutrition, and rehabilitation from injury, and they use video and data – captured or displayed on tablets – to give real-time feedback to coaches during games. The information they glean and the insights they bring can give a team a truly competitive edge.

Look at the success of Team Sky and the GB cycling team under Sir Dave Brailsford, who used data analytics to identify ‘marginal gains’ or How Eddie Jones used them to guide England to back-to-back 6 Nations titles, the annual northern hemisphere rugby union championship.


In Motorsport, real-time data analysis is vital and race teams have been at the cutting edge of data and analytics technology for decades. As car and driver shoot past the pit wall at speeds in excess of 200 mph streaming data, real-time analysis can be the difference between winning and losing. The volume and velocity of data streaming from car and driver is as impressive as the on track action. A Formula 1 car has over 200 on-board sensors that can generate around 400GB of data throughout a race. This data is not limited to track side analysis; data is also streamed from any racetrack in the world to engineers based in the team headquarters with less than 300 milliseconds of latency.

The importance of capturing accurate data is just as vital to businesses as it is to winning sports teams. In the US alone, it is thought that poor quality customer data cost US businesses in the region of $600 billion. Whatever stage of the data lifecycle you find your database to be at, Data8 offer data solutions across the complete data lifecycle. Using real time data validation, comprehensive data cleansing, data management, analytics and visualisation, we will help you to achieve a Single Customer View; the powerhouse of strategic decisions. Furthermore, if you are looking to enrich and extend your reach, our unique B2B and B2C data supply sources are unrivalled in size and quality. Data8 makes data work for you.

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