May 11, 2021

Data Analytics

The late 1990s marked a different era of growth, the dot com bubble burst paved the way for the adoption of the internet and technology. We could not have imagined the infinite possibilities it has opened up for us. Forcing us to leave the old ways behind and learn the new way of life.

The impact of it could also be seen in the sports industry and a few decades later Michael Lewis gave the world a new perspective with his bestseller Moneyball. He revolutionized the industry by turning everyone’s eye towards just one of the most important things- Data, or more specifically sports data. He pointed out what was right in front of us all along, where we were dealing with heaps of data calling it a nuisance, he called that potential. Using historical data collected over the year, he weighed players’ performance with it rather than blindly trusting intuitions. 

Data Analytics has permeated into almost all the sports categories as teams and franchises arm themselves with new information that can help them improve their performance in the future. Olympics are not far behind in that race. While the 2012 London Olympics officially became the first big data-driven sporting event with as much as 15 terabytes of data being generated every day all within the budget of $1.5 billion. Four years later the 2016 Rio Olympics also made headlines for its use of data analytics. 

This time though benefits of Analytics were reaped by not just third-party providers but by coaches and players as well. After a deep dive into big data, coaches have come up with improved training programs and relied on data analytics to study past performance as well. Detailed analysis of player performance competition specific and fitness statistics was done. The regime of training became even more focused as Big Data Analytics quantified an athlete's strengths as well as their sporting abilities.

How is it all done? 

Simple, generating more and more data points. With the use of techs like sensors, GPS trackers, and fitness trackers in the Rio Olympics athletes also created real-time stats databases using smart wearables like Google Glass. Tracking their speed, heart rate, and acceleration and learning how to use it all to improve their performance. There isn't any sports category that would not be engaging in data analytics today.

Big Data and the Olympics

Data Analytics in SportsJust like one size cannot fit all, different sports require a tailor-made solution that can be deployed to generate data. For Cycling GPS sensors are used to get the real-time data of the athlete. In Taekwondo special clothing and socks are designed that are fitted with electronic sensors to understand where the point of contact is. Boxers use data to analyze opponents' tactics and weaknesses. In Sailing, a thorough analysis of the current of water bodies is being done by athletes to perform better and so on. 

Data collected over the period give way to a trend and pattern which can be used to optimize performance. The only drawback is a lot of factors come into play when we talk about performance. It could be weather or home-field advantage which would be hard to quantify but affect the result all the same. Thus, a complete reliance on Big Data would be a foolish quest but a mix of Data with rational judgment would give better results.

This year even the Australian swimmers are relying on Atlantis, a data lake that was developed by Amazon Web Services. Atlantis is regarded as the mothership which contains Swimming Australia's two biggest data sources for competition and training enabling evidence-based decision making for better performance. 

All that we have observed has been focused on improving the performance of athletes but some wearables are being deployed that could help in reducing injury. Kitman Labs have partnered with many teams with the aim to use data analytics and prevent injuries from happening in the first place. 

Role of Big Data in OlympicsIn the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, organizers are trying their hands at Virtual reality as well where viewers would be able to watch the matches in the virtual world. NBC would be offering 85 hours of VR coverage through Samsung’s Gear VR headset and BBC would match that with 100 hours of sporting events during the Olympics.

We have barely scratched the surface with Big data and in the Olympics as well it remains limited but with IoT and machine-to-machine communication gaining popularity this season of Olympics would still make headway in the area of Big Data. Now that we have established the power Olympics Games statistics could hold, the next question comes how to get access to it? Many sports data providers have leveraged the opportunity of growth in the market and established themselves well. One such player is Data Sports Group who aims to provide comprehensive, high quality, and up-to-date coverage for the Olympic Games right from Tokyo to your desired platform. With Olympics API engage with live Olympic medals stats, country-specific packs, and historical data for analysis. Customize as per your will and capitalize on the Olympic fever with the right content.


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