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Big Data 18 Dec 2015

Big Data in soccer

Real Madrid and Microsoft sign an agreement to use Big Data.

his is explained by Tim Mallalieu, Microsoft’s Data Explorer project manager, who on being received by Carlo Ancelotti, the former coach of Real Madrid, after a first and exciting contact had to go more deeply into the physical benefits of analyzing the metrics of the club’s players on the training field.

The king of sports has always been an inhospitable place for technology and remains so in an attempt to protect the passionate value that makes it so popular. However, although technology is denied access almost by regulation to the playing field, if offers soccer teams an additional way of supplementing their training for competition.

The king of sports has always been an inhospitable place for technology and remains so in an attempt to protect the passionate value that makes it so popular

Although in Moneyball –a 2011 film on Billy Beane, the technical manager of a modest baseball team that in 2001 started using statistics to revitalize its worn out playing staff– the general public was told of the various benefits of using Big Data analysis for sports management, today this analysis goes far beyond.

Measuring and improving through a quantitative and qualitative study

Real Madrid players wear –or should wear in an ideal scenario described by Mallalieu– a sports bra in each training session consisting of a heart rate monitor, an accelerometer and a geolocation system. The data is collected and analyzed by a team of different professionals (mostly scientists and experts in business intelligence) and help Rafael Benítez, Real Madrid’s current coach, make decisions. The analysis provides a great deal of data, but some of the aspects worth mentioning are the likelihood of injury, peak performance or the closeness to the point of fatigue of all the players.

In addition, what is known as “passive effort ratio” is included in the equation, something similar to a context for huge amounts of data. This value benefits from the qualitative supplement of the impressions of soccer players on the intensity of training or the quality of the rest period the previous nights in view of the metrics obtained during practice.

Source: El País – One.

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