How can data be used to increase competitiveness in sport?
(Open) data and analytics in sports is becoming increasingly popular across the European Union. The rise of technology and access to data has led to a greater ability to drive performance, decision making and engagement in the world of sports. For example, to determine the value of athletes, track their progress, or enhance their health and safety. Therefore, data analytics can support decision making to improve competitiveness.
In recent years, data has been used within several sports. For instance, football teams and organizations, are leveraging data analytics to optimize player performance and health monitoring. Clubs can collect data on players during training and matches, which can be further analysed to gain insights in their performance. Over 600 datasets around football can be found on data.europa.eu. This information can be used to decide who to acquire and how players should be deployed to maximise performance.
Another example is tennis, where the use of data and analytics has only recently risen. Tennis, a sport commonly played by individual players, faces certain challenges in its application of data analytics. What translates to more wins varies widely based on a player's strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies under pressure. The sport is highly unpredictable, making it difficult to use data to truly beat an opponent. Despite this, analytics can be used to personalise key performance indicators for the respective athletes and provide them with better foundations for winning matches.
There are also initiatives and programs being launched across Europe to encourage the use of open data in sports. For example, the EU-funded project “Sport Data Hub”, a sector-wide digital transformation project that aims to create a centralised platform for data sharing and collaboration between sports organisations, researchers, and other stakeholders. The resulting data will be aggregated, cleaned, standardised, and reported for maximum value and impact.
Overall, open data and analytics are contributing to greater performance in sports across the EU. The EU open datasets are playing a crucial role in promoting and supporting these efforts. Interested to see more of open sports data available in Europe? Explore the data.europa.eu sports dataset.