Listen to Former GB Olympic skier and Sports Personality Chemmy Alcott talk about her experience in analysing performance data in our recorded webinar.
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The term “actionable insights” has been overused and claimed by many BI and infrastructure providers for some time, that “their tool does everything” despite the fact that simple common sense would suggest otherwise. For example, we see many of the big application performance companies claiming they can be the “single source of truth.” However, do they really know what to do with a security breach and the impact on the infrastructure?
Many sports bodies faced the same problem 15 or twenty years ago. Sports from rugby through to athletics were becoming professional and there were leaders such as Sir Clive Woodward and latterly Sir Dave Brailsford who perfected “marginal gains.” They recognised the competitive advantage of analytical insight from an athlete’s performance in order to gain that winning margin. Football was still lagging behind in many respects. Not only were clubs and managers sceptical of new fangled technology, they were also very wary of being “found out.” Harry Redknapp, was famously quoted in Wired magazine as saying, “I’ll tell you what, next week, why don’t we get your computer to play against their computer and see who wins?” Since 1996, when Opta was founded, the majority of clubs in the Premier League now take all of the available statistics and analyse it in great detail. In addition to the data, most clubs now employ data scientists to monitor all aspects of players performance. The vast majority of football players now see the benefits of knowing exactly where they can improve, and many other elite athletes from cricket to downhill skiing are doing the same. The most famous recent advocate of data science, Dave Brailsford is obsessed about analysing every aspect of an athletes’ performance to squeeze out those “marginal gains.” His results both as head of Team GB cycling and latterly at Team Sky proves that this approach is here to stay and really works to gain competitive advantage.
What lessons can the IT industry learn from all this? We have all the data and some exceptionally bright people, but what’s missing is “joining it all together.” Very much as Opta attempted to do when they formed in 1996, Intergence and our Stratiam platform, is bringing actionable insight to IT performance so that IT leaders can get a single source of the truth, with their data, which they feel is relevant. Whilst there will be some IT professionals, who will rally against this, much as they did in the sports world, the majority of IT leaders will in our view, welcome the ability to deliver a better performance to their customers. In the same way marketing and sports professionals have been using analytics to judge their own performance and improve the bottom line, we at Intergence believe the time has come to help IT organisations achieve the same goals. As James Petter states in his recent article in Techradar, “What distinguishes the winners from losers when it comes to data-driven sports, is that they have developed the ability to manage data as an asset. To achieve this, organisations need to have a modern IT infrastructure in place to collect, manage and store the data in real-time (and more importantly to achieve that much desired gold medal or trophy).”