Data science, or the scientific process of using data in various forms to obtain knowledge about some matter, has had a huge influence on sports ever since it started being developed. Coaches and athletes all around the world have been using data in many different ways. Data can be used to improve a team’s performance and make it easier to choose the right players to take part in the game. Furthermore, having proper data can help bettors improve their chances of winning because they can use the data to make better calculations. Thanks to using data in a smart way, bettors’ guesses become well-thought-out predictions.
Why is data science important to sports?
Let’s say that you are a basketball player and you have just lost a game. You are confused about why that happened. You know that you did your best and you are aware that you must improve further if you want to win next time. You ask the coach for help and the coach explains that there were embedded sensors in your jersey that tracked your movements throughout the whole game and that these sensors gathered data that can help you make your performance better.
It should fairly simple to understand now why collecting data is so important and why it can have huge effects on sports. Back in the day, people relied on analyzing games solely by watching replays over and over again. They tried to figure out what had gone wrong, why the strategy was bad and what could have been done better based on their experience, knowledge and their gut feeling. In contrast, nowadays, people can collect data in various ways and use them to analyze games with the help of a computer specially programmed for this kind of analysis.
Analyzing data creates more data
After analyzing the game, you can save the analyses and create more data this way. After hundreds and hundreds of games, the computer programmed to analyze the data will start figuring out what games were similar. Then, the computer will produce estimates and offer suggestions about how to improve the performance of the team or athlete, thus saving time and effort. As this cycle continues repeating, more and more data gets gathered and the analyses that the computer carries out become more reliable and precise. This can greatly improve the performance of all teams and athletes, and with that, bring far more enjoyable games to us and a far more exciting and competitive experience to them.
Having in mind the possible benefits of data science to the field of sports, as well as in other spheres of life, we can expect a lot of improvement in the future.