Big Data = Big Wins
"Technology has made a difference in all sports."
David Epstein, the author of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, looks at how athletic records have been broken and what drives these advances. World records have been pushed, not only from improved output from athletes, but also the resources and information at hand. But this trend of in-depth information analysis has only just begun in the athletic realm.
In India, elections have been transformed through data analysis. Narendra Modi the underdog candidate, won the 2014 election by hiring a team of data scientists to calculate the most valuable markets to fundraise from, and the most efficient social media growth. In the U.S. healthcare system, data analytics have pointed out large fiscal problems that can be avoided. With electronic medical records being analyzed, and disease trends being recognized the U.S. is looking at $300 to $450 billion worth of savings in readmissions and duplicate records.
Sports are just beginning this movement through calculated draft picks, monitoring fan engagement and analyzing team statistics. These topics look at the macro trends in athletics, but eventually will focus on the micro trends. High level athletics are beginning to see how each player performs on a detailed level, with statistics including their heart rate and oxygen levels. These fine measurements are simple as of now, but evolving into outcome based results. In a world of inches, each small malpractice can result in points lost, or on a larger stage, medals lost. We look forward to the future of big data in athletics and lifting athletes to the next level of competition.