Olympia

How Data & Analytics was at the heart of Team GB’s Success at Rio 2016

8 September 2016

Just as it has been in business for some time, Data and Analytics is now being used in Sport to refine and improve performance. Many sports are decided by small margins and the use of Data and Analytics is helping Sports men and women gain a competitive advantage. The latest example of where this has taken place is with Team GB at the Rio Olympics, 2016. Team GB managed a record haul of 67 medals, including 27 Gold’s. The success was no coincidence and came as a result of excellent preparation and lots of hard work behind the scenes, although the extent of the success may have even surprised the Data experts.

Before the games began we covered the news that data-experts Gracenote predicted that Team GB would finish with 47 medals and 17 Gold’s. So Team GB even exceeded the statistical predictions of these Data Scientists, but maybe they weren’t aware as to the extent Team GB had been utilising the benefits of Data and Analytics to improve their performance?

One example is Team GB’s rowers who turned to Analytics experts SAS to improve their performance in the buildup to Rio 2016.

“By partnering with SAS, we now have the capacity for much more in-depth and speedy analysis of the rowers, allowing us and them to optimise every session” Sir David Tanner, GB’s Rowing Team Performance Director

Pete Reed, Olympic gold medallist and world champion, said: “It was great to be shown how we can now immediately pull up on a screen all the various pieces of data on a rower. It means the team can then analyse the data and make decisions based on up-to-date information, which can be crucial in the run-up and during competitions. Before now you may not have known about something until it was too late.”

This is a really telling quote from Sir David Tanner and it highlights the importance of Data and Analytics now in Sport: “We are the leading rowing nation in the world but we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. On the international stage, small margins are the difference between gold medals and going home empty handed. Our partnership with SAS allows us to hone in on those seemingly small improvements and create a better programme and better athletes. It’s vital for all of the squad and staff to see what in-depth, rapid analysis of the rowers allows us to do.”

So what can we learn from this that translates into business environment? Well it goes to show that even if you are currently the market leader, using Data and Analytics can give you a competitive advantage in a constantly evolving modern marketplace. Bodhi Resourcing can help you secure the right personnel to provide accurate data and insight to aid the decision making process for your business. We have a proven track record of this…

Don’t think that this is a one off, rowing is just one example of where the benefits of analytics in Sport are being used. Team GB’s boxers have also benefited, using “iBoxer” – a software developed in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University. The performance analysis system makes use of a wealth of data on Team GB’s boxers and their opponents, including detailed fight analysis that reveals threats and opportunities for the fighters, helping them refine their tactics.

Even outside of the Olympics, in football trust is being put into Data more than ever. In 2014, Arsenal bought a US-based data company for £2million to help give them a competitive edge in transfer market. Arsene Wenger revealed that the club had utilised the companies methods when opting to spend £11.3million on signing Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista.

It’s pretty incredible the trust and responsibility that the sporting world is now putting into data and it again shows how it is a market that’s influence continues to grow.

Ivy Business Journal have stressed that this confidence is mirrored throughout the business world: ‘The use of Big Data is becoming a crucial way for leading companies to outperform their peers. In most industries, established competitors and new entrants alike will leverage data-driven strategies to innovate, compete, and capture value.’

In fact a recent study has found that UK bosses are now willing to pay up to 30% more for candidates with data skills, the reason they give is because data is no longer “confined to the IT department or technical specialists”. The increased importance placed on these skills has naturally created more demand in an area where there is already a shortage of suitably qualified candidates. Bodhi Resourcing can be the ones to help give you the competitive advantage in this area by helping clients connect with the best candidates in the market. At Bodhi we headhunt the highest calibre of Data, Marketing and Analytics candidates across a range of industries which help our clients stay ahead of the game. To talk about how we can help you, whether you are a candidate or a client, give us a call on 0117 315 5265.

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