Why Sports Analytics Is More Than Just A Numbers Game

Image © Source: https://youtu.be/2lbgUCLAhnQ
Source: https://youtu.be/2lbgUCLAhnQ

Sports over the years have become extremely competitive — today, the scenarios are so intense that a minute can completely flip the course of a game. And in order to stay one step ahead of the rivals, sports teams are opting to analytics.  And it is not only because of the competitive pressure but also because of fans base who seek detailed information about players, their performance, the reason why the team won or lost etc.

Simply put, sports analytics is the practice of applying data gathered from a player’s or team’s performance under different circumstance for better decision making and improving performance. It can also be used to understand and maintain a team’s fan-base and capture the eye of investors. Sports analytics is not a very new concept, though — it has been around for quite some time. However, the recent advancements in data collection and management have expanded its role significantly.


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The Role Of Analytics

On The Pitch

In order to collect player data, analyzers use wearable devices that are attached to players jersey or the body. These wearable devices record data like heart rate, speed and acceleration of the player. The collected data is later analysed to have an idea about the players who were fit to join for the upcoming games. Furthermore, this data analytics also helps in keeping the players safe from injuries as it tracks their condition and let them know when to rest.

NBA is one of the most famous basket league in the world and it is a great example when we are talking about sports analytics. Almost every team in the NBA has data analysts as full-time staff who works with coaches and front office staff in order to find out improve on-court tactics or practice habits — which move, and which shots are best suited for each player. And without a doubt, it helps teams to derive game strategies.

Football is considered to be a  difficult game to analyze. There was a time when data analytics in football only include things like passing percentage and shooting efficiency, but today, teams are using analytics to analyze player movement, action away from the ball etc. These data are so valuable that they are used to create algorithms for improving individual and team behaviour, as well as decision making for substitution. 

One of the major football clubs, Arsenal is a good example of sports analytics. The football club has made tremendous investments in sports analytics system that tracks numerous data points per game and analyses them using an automated algorithm. From past several years, some of Europe’s most renown football clubs have been using analytics to stay ahead of their rivals, and Arsenal is one among them.

Off The Pitch

Sports betting over the years gained a tremendous market. The industry is booming year by year, and analytics is playing a vital role in evolution.  Today, analytics has become the lifeblood of sports betting; it is not only helping betting businesses find new opportunities but also helping them gain new insights to run their business efficiently.

When a sports betting company or platform want to gain a bigger customer base, one of the best ways to succeed is to keep a track on what clients want. And by collecting player data and analyse it, one can help its clients betting on the right team or the right player.


Sports prediction have recently gained momentum. Some use prediction for betting and some use prediction to better their platforms. Crictix is one such company that is working in the field of sports prediction. The company predicts cricket matches – whether its IPL or any international cricket match. However, the company is into betting; the concept of the Crictix platform is to showcase its depth in analytics and promote its data analytics platform for businesses.

Wrapping Up

There is no denying to the fact that analytics have transformed many businesses across the globe. And now it has marked its presence in the space of sports. Do you remember the 2011 baseball movie “Moneyball” where Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill builds a team of underrated players by taking a sophisticated sabermetric approach to scouting and analyzing players? The scenario today will be something more advanced than that.

With time both sports and technology evolve, and with that, the role of analytics in sports will continue to become vital. The more competitive sports become the more teams and sports organisation will look out for analytics to better their game.

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Harshajit Sarmah
Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.

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