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Scouting: Business Intelligence & analytics serving sports


18/07/2016

Did you know that the Business Intelligence, so fashionable last five years in the business world, has been used in professional sports, to have a competitive advantage over rival, for many years? We’re obviously speaking about tactical analysis, or Scouting.

Scouting is the analysis of competitions, training, and other data collected, in order to meet own behaviour patterns and rivals, and after that to have a differential knowledge that allows me to optimize the approach of the next competition.

In recent years, with the technology evolution, implementation of GPS systems in sports and stadiums, and other technological control systems and information collection and analysis thereof, access to information about my own team and the rival has become much easier, and as a result has emerged a new figure in the technical teams of mostcof the sports clubs, regardless of the sport of which we speak: the tactical analyst, or scout.

The use of Business Intelligence tools is much more effective in closed sports (those in which the statistic is of paramount importance, such as baseball or basketball) than in open sports (football, rugby, etc.). The reason is simple: it is much easier to extract patterns of behavior, strengths and weaknesses in measurable contexts through data (free throws, rebounds, strikes or race number, etc.) in “statistical sports”, than to to do it in sports where often do not win who is better in numbers, but who knows compete better (sports where statistics are not as significant).

The amount of extractable competition data is overwhelming. We do not speak only of quantitative data regarding the performance of a player, but thanks to GPS systems, the heart rate monitor, and other ways to take data, actually it’s easier to track your personal life through social networks and other systems of data collection (direct and indirect), so that we can contextualize the performance of each player, and not only in statistical terms, but also in a sporty, emotional, physiological level, and mental and physical performance.

As Rejec defends in his article on the implementation of Big Data in football, after major brands such as ADIDAS, and NIKE developed their own tools, and dedicated to performance monitoring (as Adidas’ miCoach, or Nike Running products, among others) it has popularized the concept of self-assessment, or the accumulation of objective data on our performance, demonstrating that with the right technology, control and planning of sports, especially professional athletes, is not only highly recommended but it is necessary to compete on an equal footing with our rivals. Not because you’re going to compete worse if you do not have that information, but your opponents will have a unique advantage that will optimize their performance when competing against you.

Today, information gives you a significant competitive advantage. Take it. At the end of the day, if you do not do now, you’ll do it in few time by need. And nobody likes to react by necessity but by choice.

What you decide?

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