With every sprint, kick, tackle, pass and more now logged and analysed in real-time to give teams the tiniest advantage on the pitch, Riello UPS General Manager Leo Craig investigates how big data can make or break who claims sport’s most prestigious prizes
Sports analytics isn’t a completely new phenomenon. While there were no Opta statistics available back in the 1950s, former RAF Wing Commander Charles Reep’s rather simplistic interpretation of paper-based information was the foundation of ‘route one’ long-ball football tactics.
However, recent years have seen an explosion in data and performance analysis across all sports. Virtually every professional team or athlete will channel the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and connected devices to process data in real-time to optimise training regimes, recruit new players, reduce injuries, or even enhance the fan experience. Many semi-pro and amateur teams will do likewise.
Players at all levels now wear Electronic Performance and Tracking System (EPTS) devices incorporating technologies such as GPS, magnetometers, gyroscopes and accelerometers. Some systems can measure 1,000+ data points per second, recording speed, power, body temperature, heart-rate, distance covered and other key performance stats.
However, all this data is worthless without the accompanying analysis. A safe, secure storage and processing point is essential. In 21st century sport where so-called ‘stats gurus’ play an increasingly influential role, choosing the right data centre infrastructure and critical power protection provided by a reliable uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit are almost as important to a team’s success as the decision to sign a new superstar-striker or appoint an all-powerful manager/head coach.
Sports analytics in action
The use of connected devices and data analytics has become second-nature across virtually every sport. For years, cricket has employed ball-tracking sensors and thermal imaging technology to assist umpires to make tough on-field decisions. ‘Hawkeye’, ‘Snicko’, and ‘Hotspot’ are terms well-known to fans throughout the game.