The Age of Digital Information

The Age of Digital Information: What Businesses Can Learn From Premiership Rugby

Even at the top, competitive advantage in rugby can be achieved by just the smallest of marginal gains. Today’s rugby coaches now have an abundance of data at their disposal, enabling them to analyse and monitor their teams’ performance and identify gains that combined can create future success.

Data insights can now provide more than just a player’s heart rate. Their speed, acceleration, number of impacts, meters covered and carries can all be utilised to build a complete picture of a player’s performance on game day. Comparing this to other relevant data captured on the training ground allows coaches to assess when players are reaching their peak performance, and help them identify new ways to sustain it.

Entire rugby teams now benefit from bespoke training regimes and tailored coaching strategies, all created to fulfil each individual player’s physical needs and positional requirements. Most players now have access to an extensive data set of past performances, both on the pitch and in training, which is now also available on mobile devices. This data and its accessibility allows them to take ownership of their own progression and makes them accountable for their own development.

“It’s obviously a massive part of the game now. Every step we take is monitored when we’re in training... There are no hiding places now.”

Danny Care, England International and Harlequins scrum-half

Data drive results by exposing under performance, tracking growth and empowering individuals to monitor their own performance against agreed benchmarks. But can the access to so much information become counterproductive? Tom Sheriff, Lead Sport Scientist at Saracens, believes that there’s no such thing as bad data:

“It’s about how you handle it and how you present it. We don’t want to use it as a stick to ‘beat’ players with… We use it as a starting point for where we can improve.”

Tom Sheriff, Lead Sport Scientist at Saracens

Lessons from the pitch: Read our article on why digitised data is key to improving business decision making.

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Is your business making the most out of data?

Many businesses often find themselves under pressure from omni-channel sales models and digital transformation. These are complex challenges with no easy answers.

So what’s the solution? Data. The right use of information is one of the most reliable ways to establish a clear strategic direction.

We at Ricoh have worked with some of the UK’s top organisations to provide Business Intelligence to uncover vital insights. Discover more

All leaders want to make the best possible decisions for their teams, and data intelligence will help them craft this skill. How they analyse, interpret and use this data will remain crucial for achieving success.

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The age of digital information

Want to learn more about how Premiership Rugby clubs use data? Watch our latest video:

Want to see our Rugby Change Series videos from the 2016/17 Aviva Premiership Rugby season?

2016/17 season videos