When we talk about sports analytics, everyone remembers the 2011 movie, Moneyball. Based on the 2003 book of the same name, Moneyball showed how Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt), coach of Oakland Athletics, adopted a sabermetric approach to assemble a successful baseball team.
Down the years numerous sports teams have hired sabermetric experts (including Liverpool Football Club) to become as successful as the Oakland Athletics.
But sports teams are also different to your business. Sports teams generate income (tickets, advertisements), raise funding (investors, sponsors), hire personnel (coaching staff, players), and maintain a professional brand (social media, ethics).
Can sports analytics be adopted to measure performances of in-house business teams? Can the operations department generate better output if their daily tasks are tracked under analytics?
Can the sales team deliver increased conversions if sports analytics strategies are adopted for them?
Only time will tell. But till then at least let’s handpick certain aspects of sports analytics that could benefit team management and team efficiency.
The interesting case for sports analytics
Sports teams gather supportive data through hours of footage. Take an example of the NBA. There are six cameras located towards the ceiling of each Arena. So, when Lebron James or Steph Curry arch away while shooting a 3-pointer, every single detail is captured.
In Major League Soccer, GPS-based location devices worn by the players capture relevant data. Where can businesses gather real time data on employees and field officers?
One way is through HR analytics. It is the process of analysing and collecting Human Resource (HR) data to improve any organization’s workforce. Other names for this are workforce analytics, talent analytics or people analytics. It is a deeper subject that maybe the Nordic Intent blog team can do a piece on.
Poorly performing subordinates and workforce personnel can be tracked for performance. Also, this can act like a base for working on Human Performance analytics. The respective division or departmental team’s performance matters. Not the individual employees.
Get in an ecosystem huddle
Your business or company won’t be employing an entire team of performance analysts to improve productivity. Neither can you build larger softwares that can suck in large amounts of data and spit out a performance report.
One solution for this is to tie up with an external vendor for data. Ask them to build analytical software or hardware. You can always start small, as the strength of your company won’t be too much initially. Later on, scale up based on the validity and efficiency of the analytics report.
Communication is key
These data sets for measuring business team performances look great on paper but their presentation needs to be concise. How many times have we heard the CEO retort back asking, “That’s all great, but can you support that with data?”.
Sports analytics is still a rookie context in Indian businesses. Even large businesses are yet to adopt data-centric strategies and tools to measure performances.
With the lockdown easily set to extend for at least 6 more months, the time to test employee performances is perfect. Do businesses have the technical architecture or even the basic analytical tools to measure work from home performances? Can they, with certainty, say that work from home improves productivity?
If a company’s IT team can come up with effective solutions on their own, then there is nothing like it. Similarly, if HR professionals, product developers, team managers and performance marketers can collaborate with their respective IT team, then tracking employee performance could become easy.
As is the case with numerous technological setups, this will take time in India, but if there was any particular time to start with setting up processes in order, then that is right now.
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