When Technology Wins: Measuring the impact of innovation
Whether it’s advancements in ball technology, improvements to the playing surface or the use of wearable devices, coaching staff are looking to new technologies to deliver improved performance. A key part of introducing these technologies is evaluating the impact they have, and comparing them to the existing practices already in place.
Andy Harland, Professor of Sports Technology at Loughborough University, explains:
“If a brand or an individual comes forward with a new idea, for instance a new ball, then one of the things we need to evaluate is how it compares to previous products so that when it comes to measuring the outcomes we can comfortably say 'the difference between this new ball and the old one is as follows…’”
You can watch the full interview in the video at the bottom of the page.
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How the right technology makes a difference
In a world that is increasingly fast-paced and unpredictable, new technology can make a crucial difference to a team’s success. We have explored how the top Premiership Rugby clubs approach this as part of our Business of Rugby series. What became apparent after speaking to a number of Premiership Rugby coaches, analysts and players is that for many, innovation for innovation’s sake is pointless and costly. You have to adopt the type of technology that is right for your team and have the right people to interpret and present the data.
What’s even more important, if you’re considering introducing new technology, is to be clear on the desired outcomes and how you will assess whether those outcomes have been delivered. Make sure that you test and measure the impact that an innovation is having - without it, even the latest type of technology will achieve little for your organisation.
Technology will continue to play a massive part in sport and business.
“Whether people realise that or see it for themselves, the hidden effects of technology are huge”
Andy Harland, continues:
”If you think about sport in the future, in ten years’ time, I think it’s impossible to imagine sport without technology. We are really excited about the role sport can play in embracing technology, perhaps even in advance of society in general.”