What is Sports Analytics?
The information gathered in sports is analysed by coaches, players and other staff members for decision-making both during and prior to sporting events. With rapid advancement in technology in the past few years, data collection has become more precise and relatively easier than earlier.
The advancement in the collection of data has also contributed in the growth of sports analytics as it totally relies on the collected pool of data. The growth in analytics has further led to building of technologies such as fitness trackers, game simulators, etc.
Fitness trackers are smart devices that provide data about the fitness of players on the basis of which coaches can take a decision of including particular players in the team or not. The game simulators help in practicing the game before the actual sporting event takes place.
Sports analytics is a technique of analysing relevant and historical information in the field of sports mainly to perform better than other team or individual.
Sports analytics is the practice of putting numerical and statistical principles in sports and related activities. With many factors and priorities particular to the industry, sports analysts utilise basic methods and approach like other kind of data analysis.
Forming measurement parameters, as hit and fumble rate, and keeping on collating data from a wide range of sample is the root of the analytics process. This data is then worked upon and optimised towards improvement of accuracy and workability of the results.
Teams have used statistics, observations and intuitions traditionally, to take vital decisions regarding formation and recruitment of athletes and assessing performance of player. While statistics have always played a vital part towards evaluating performance of player, high powered tools for analysis are now used to have a clarity and detailed picture of it making more informed decisions about talent utilisation. The utilisation of sports analytics was displayed in the film “Moneyball” in 2011 depicting how sports analytics is used to build successful team on a tight budget.
The sport analytics not only modifies the way of playing a game but also changes the way of recording the performance of players. The National Basketball of America (NBA) teams are now using the player tracking technology which can evaluate the efficiency of a team by analysing the movement of its players.
As per the information provided by the SportVu software website, the teams in NBA have installed six cameras for tracking the movements of each player on the court and the basketball at the rate of 25 times per second. The data collected using cameras provide significant amount of innovative statistics on the basis of speed, player separation and ball possession.
For example, how fast a player moved, how much distance he had covered during the game, how many times he had passed the ball and much more. On the basis of the data collected, strategies are created to win the game or to improve the performance in the game.
Sports analytics has also found its application in the field of sports gambling. The availability of more accurate information about teams and players on the websites leads sport gambling to new levels. The analytics information helps gamblers in better decision making and attaining accuracy in predicting outcomes of games or performance of a particular player.
In addition to websites or Web pages, a number of companies also help in providing minute details of players or teams to gamblers to fulfil their betting requirements. Sports gambling contributed 13% of global gambling industry valued somewhere between $700–$1000 billion. Some of the popular websites which provide betting services to users are bet365, bwin, Paddy Power, betfair and Unibet.