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IT Has Forever Changed Professional Sports, in More Ways Than You Think

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IT Has Forever Changed Professional Sports, in More Ways Than You Think

What do free stadium wifi, sabermetrics, and 3-point shooters have in common? The desire to get an edge through technology.

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Information technology and Big Data rule the day in the digital age. Most think of IT and data as relevant only to business, such as retail and finance. But what some don’t realize is that IT and data are changing the way we experience professional sports. The use of information technology and advanced analytics is growing at an impressive trajectory within the sports industry, with technological advancements entirely transforming the spectator experience.

Tech is Changing the Way We Experience Sports

From the installation of charging stations in stadiums to player performance assessments using advanced metrics, the world of sports is changing at an unprecedented rate. Stadiums offer every form of entertainment one can imagine.

Not only do you see plays unfold in real time, you get a series of replays from 15 different angles showing you just how awesome a play was. Want to tweet about it? Fortunately for you, most stadiums now offer complimentary high-speed wifi.

Behind the scenes, architects and engineers are working to keep tech-oriented stadiums operational, designing backup systems that troubleshoot crises ranging from power outages to emergency evacuations.

For owners, it’s not about displaying the advancements overtly, but about casually creating a better “user experience,” if you will. The hope is that technological advancements in sports will allow for a more personal spectator performance, one that may even attract couch-potato fans to the ballpark, gridiron, or court.

IT and Advanced Data are Changing Sports Altogether

You’d be mistaken in assuming that IT and data are only affecting the spectator experience. In many sports, analytics are changing the way the game is played. Take NBA basketball for example.

Advanced analytics have proven it is most effective to attempt 3-point shots at a high volume, despite the fact that they’re not efficient shots.

The logic is that 3-point shots are worth more than mid-range jumpers, dunks, and layups, so whatever dip in efficiency you may experience ultimately won’t keep you from scoring more points. In fact, it’s well worth that dip.

Seems reasonable, right? You’d think coaches and experts have been saying this for decades, but they haven’t. It wasn’t until the implementation of advanced assessment metrics that the league accepted this truth.

Now, basketball looks nothing like it did 30 years ago, as run-and-gun, 3-point happy offensive strategies have changed the game’s pace and standard style of play. These breakthrough offensive strategies wouldn’t have been taken seriously without IT and advanced data.

IT Prevents Cheating and Inaccuracies in Professional Athletic Competitions

What does this increased use of tech mean for the professional athletic competitions?  According to Atos’ Major Events CEO, Patrick Adiba, it’s going to mean a whole lot. He recently stated in an interview that the nowadays, we’re experiencing a breakthrough moment in how we deliver IT for professional athletic competitions.

“It provides a compelling example of how organizations that embrace full digital models can realize tangible benefits in terms of customer experience, business transformation, operational excellence, and security.”

In other words, virtual reality simulations, every-angle video reviews, GPS trackers, high-definition underwater cameras, and other state-of-the-art technology will be used in the professional athletic competitions in the future. This will lead to better record-keeping, athlete performance, and spectator experience.

What Does It All Mean for the “Little Guy”?

Similar changes in the way we assess performance and analyze statistics can be seen in every major professional sport. It would be wasteful to refuse the data that’s been helping teams perform more efficiently.

Data has ruled in the day in the world of business for quite some time now, but it’s refreshing to see its importance making its way into other industries. Sports have long been about what meets the eye, but there’s a lot more at work than what we see on the surface.

IT and Big Data are changing the world, and no industry or person is safe from its effects. Entire sports are changing because of modern practices, and the industry is better off for it. A mastery of data can help even the smallest market teams hold their own against the sharks. Without data and IT, that may not be possible. Bring on the revolution!

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Topics:
data analysis ,sports

Published at DZone with permission of Omri Erel, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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