As the world around us continues to advance, data is becoming a huge part of everyday life in ways many of us do not even consider! From the best sleep tracking devices to online broadcasting, new innovation allows us to merge technology and analyse different areas of our life, we can enrich the sports experience by taking a data-driven approach.

Many of us love to watch sports, taking in the detailed commentary without stopping to think about how broadcasters and athletes make spot so compelling. Data is playing a major role in making these events more competitive and engaging for audiences by measuring everything from athletic performance to audience engagement and marketing strategies. In fact, the sports data analytics industry is growing at a whopping rate and is expected to continue, with plenty of jobs on offer for those interested in the numbers behind their favourite sports.

We have taken a closer look at why data in sport has become so popular and how it is changing how you both play and watch sports:

Create better workout plans

Professional athletes are dependent on strategies to compete and win against their rivals, but amateur athletes can also use workout plans to monitor their progress and help them towards their fitness goals. Having a strategy is an integral part of any sport, be it an individual or team sport, and modern coaching makes use of data sets to create winning strategies off of the pitch or court. Data science allows coaches of professional teams to create personalised athlete matchups and individual strategies for every match the team plays, keeping the team’s tactics effective to maximise their chance of success.

Add a competitive element

Data has improved many industries over the last few years, and this is no different in the sporting world. It has helped athletes enhance their performance, broadcasters boost their fan engagement, and coaches finalise their gameplay tactics. Marketing data analytics also plays a huge role in this process, transforming sporting events by increasing the amount of interest in a certain game and boosting viewing numbers, subsequently gaining bookie interest and sponsors which can all increase the excitement around an upcoming match.

Pick the best teams for a game

Player recruitment is an important process for any professional sporting team and often there are many more considerations which play a role when it comes to athletic performance. At the end of the day, while talented players are important when winning championships, this alone is not the only important factor that needs to be considered. Nowadays, modern sports franchises have noted this and are using data analytics tools to recruit the right players for their team culture, creating the ultimate team who can all work together to form a strong group whose individual talents align nicely. Popular sports such as soccer, cricket, football and basketball have all adopted these techniques with great success, to the point where it has now become the standard method of recruiting players alongside traditional tryouts.