DCN June 2017 - Page 22

big data & IoT metrics are only as useful, though, as the ability to make sense of them. This has been the toughest nut to crack, and and it’s where Big Data analytics comes in. Through analytics, the raw data that comes from the individual athlete or team can be examined at a granular detail to better understand where improvements can be made to that athlete’s technique or training schedule. It’s helping prevent injuries too. Rugby union teams now use data monitoring and analytics to watch for and prevent injuries. It’s making dangerous sports less dangerous without impacting on the spectacle. In fact, real time analytics have the power to enhance spectator enjoyment. Looking back at our baseball example, sports fans are unashamed stats nerds and the more they can get access to, the happier they will be. And imagine being able to see the heart rate of Cristiano Ronaldo as he steps up to take a free kick or Joe Root as he faces a 90MPH delivery from Morne Morkel. It would give the spectator a unique insight into the experience of the athlete like never before. What sports insiders think At the January event in Manchester Town Hall, Steve Bate and Steve Flynn, director of GB Taekwondo, spoke about the impact wearable tech and analytics made to their sports. 22 | June 2017 Steve Bate is one of the many British Paralympic and Olympic athletes who can testify to how wearable tech and Big Data analytics is giving them a competitive edge in their sport. ‘The speed at which data can be converted into athletic training is incredible.’ Bate spoke about the wearable tech made a huge difference to his training: ‘We can do real time out on the road, we don’t need to be in a lab any more with masks on and things like that because actually with having power and heart rates and stuff we can do a lot of that.’ Of course, the data still needs analysing and Bate made it clear how this had given him a competitive edge: ‘The helmet, the skin suit, the socks you wear, really small, minor gains, marginal gains, but actually we’ve learnt that, certainly in the last six months, that the biggest gain you get is your physical performance. And the fitter you are, the faster you’re going to go.’ Steve Flynn dropped an anecdote from the Beijing Olympic