How rugby and IT bosses win with data analysis
Reading, 10 October 2019 – Whether it’s Eddie Jones, Warren Gatland, Steve Hansen or Rassie Erasmus devising a Rugby World Cup masterplan or an IT boss striving to provide his multi-million-pound organisation with a competitive edge, many of their decisions will be informed by data analysis.
Statistics and data analysis are playing an increasing part in rugby, as they are in other walks of life.
As the technology to assess, classify and gain intelligence from data improves, decision-makers will be relying on data even more.
Rugby coaches might be searching for what is often called the ‘unseen’ work (usually done by blindside flankers), but, of course, it is not unseen. It is there to see if you know where to look, what you are looking for and have the technology to find it.
IT chiefs may want better visibility of their data estate to verify that no business-critical data has been left unprotected – a scenario that could lead to dire consequences in the event of a ransomware attack.
How data can reduce risk
The right analytics can help prevent issues that are in danger of turning into big risks if left unchecked.
When Gatland chose to omit Brian O’Driscoll from the final Test of the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2013, it was a hugely controversial decision.
However, there’s no denying the centre combination of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies worked out for the best and later it emerged that GPS data had showed O’Driscoll was struggling horribly at that stage of the tour.
Put simply, O’Driscoll was out on his feet. He had nothing more to give, like a computer server that no longer had any space to spare.
IT chiefs can be forewarned about capacity shortages. Given the capability to see the percentage of used storage on devices across their data estate, they can be pro-active and prevent more serious problems by planning an archiving policy.
Statistics may help a top rugby coach who wants to manage his wage bill efficiently, by identifying which players are unlikely to feature in the near future and should go out on loan.
In the same way, IT bosses seeking to save on storage costs are benefiting significantly from technology that spots data suitable for archiving because it has been rarely accessed.
Whether you are managing a team at the Rugby World Cup in Japan or heading up the IT department for a FTSE 100 company, there are many variables to consider.
It remains clear, though, that whatever the challenges are, decisions can be made with a lot more confidence if the person making them has better visibility, which in turn enables better information.
Data is increasingly custom-made for rugby clubs because it can provide more valuable insights.
For instance, data will be obtained on the outcome of every scrum the opposition has had, if the No.8 has had a pick and go from the scrum, or passed, or so on.
Whatever your job entails, knowing what you are about to face is key as you can then prepare properly.
Actionable analysis equals intelligent decisions
Bill Gerrard, a former data analyst at Saracens and London Irish rugby clubs, who now works for Dutch football club AZ Alkmaar, said: “It doesn’t matter what walk of life you operate in. You’ve got hunches based on your experiences, your intuitions, what you think is going on and what you think you can do to get a better performance.
“Data analysis is part of that process, saying ‘Let’s test those hunches. What evidence can we get to confirm or question the hunches or intuition we have?’ Better to test that during the week than test it at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.”
The more detailed the analytics, the better chance of success.
For IT chiefs, the good news is that the level of insight available now has never been better.
Actionable analysis about data estates is helping them make intelligent decisions.
Whether the challenge is data proliferation or establishing exactly what needs protecting, Redstor’s Insight allows IT departments to take back control.
It’s an intelligent, new technology that offers unprecedented visibility to identify unforeseen risks, drive efficiencies and improve accountability – and it’s FREE.
If you are head of an IT department, it could be a game-changer.