Big Data in Football


June 22, 2014
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Football fever has gripped  the world today and fans are busy  cheering  for  their favorite teams on the screens. But behind the screens, teams are sweating out hard to claim the most coveted golden trophy of football. To gain competitive edge, teams are trying to make the best use of technology to help in pre-match preparations and post-match analysis. German team has gone ahead of all others in utilizing a big-data analytics software (SAP Match Insights) for training, strategy preparation and performance analysis during this world cup.

Big-data offers a huge potential in various areas of the game.It enables Coaches to do  player recruitment based on analysis of past performance records and fitness history. Wearable technology generates data about players physical fitness which can be used by trainers to design customized, conducive fitness programs that minimizes injury. Big data guides in the making of on-field strategy by tracking personnel formations, identifying successful play tendencies which shall make a team play to its maximum strength. It also has transformed the television viewer experience with the constant streaming data from sensors (spread all around the field) that enable instant replays and also help match officials to make right calls at right time to resolve on-field conflicts.

Outside the field, Big data has a huge effect in driving fantasy football. It nearly provides the same type of data used by coaches/co-coordinators to play the fantasy game. This drives fan engagement but also opens a new potential area where fans could generate useful suggestions/insights for the teams too. Despite all the potential advantages, Big data by itself can never do magic to a football team.  Big data is useful only if the coaches/teams use the right analysis to generate useful insights that adds value.