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The Growing Importance of Data Analytics in Sport

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The Growing Importance of Data Analytics in Sport

We take a quick look at the growing presence of big data and sports, and how analytics is helping to improve athletic performance.

· Big Data Zone ·
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Sport is undoubtedly one sector that has taken data analytics to heart, with the success of the Oakland Athletics so beautifully illustrated in

This has been supercharged by the increase in wearable technology that has allowed so much more data to be generated about seemingly all aspects of athletic performance. A recent special issue of features a collection of articles highlighting the impact of data on various sports.

For instance, one paper explores how data has helped long-distance runners to better pace themselves during a race. The authors describe how they gathered data on over 120,000 runners participating in a range of official races to analyze their pacing strategy and determine how this affected their overall time.

A second paper then explored the use of data in fantasy sports leagues, with the authors suggesting that computers will increasingly be deployed to crunch the data and make smarter decisions than any human player could make.

"Big data and artificial intelligence are changing the world of sports. Professional teams and other stakeholders are increasingly hiring machine learning experts to help optimize not only marketing, ticket sales, and fan engagement but also draft selection, player evaluation, and game-day decision making," the editors of the series explain. "State-of-the-art solutions for a range of important challenges in the emerging area of sports analytics are discussed in this special issue which will be enjoyed by big data and sports enthusiasts."

The use of data in sports is only likely to grow, so these articles provide a nice overview of some of the areas currently being affected.

data analytics ,business analytics ,big data

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