How databases can help athletes perform their best

Posted by Justin Hesser on July 2, 2014

When you think about athletics, databases are likely the furthest thing from your mind. However, analytical may soon be as big a part of sports as the swish of a basketball net or the arc of a perfectly thrown football pass. 

Sports are about performance, endurance and grace, but they are also in many ways about information. When competing at the highest levels, it's critical to be able to identify strengths and weaknesses, and think about them in a way that minimizes the latter and spotlights the former. With the sort of databases that are currently available, any athlete or team that does not seriously consider how structured analysis can improve their chances of winning is doing themselves a disservice. 

However, simply investing in data is not very helpful if the organization has no context for, or ability to understand it. Drawing the correct conclusions from information can be an intricate process, so it's critical to have the proper support in place to ensure that the process is as worthwhile as possible. 

One of the epicenters for analytics in sports is MIT's Sloane Conference, where interested parties the world over come to discuss the latest and best in the field. Writing for its website, Professor Benjamin Alamar highlighted the need for careful consideration with sports databases.

"The push in sports—as in business—to use analytic tools comes from advances in computing power and the availability of massive amounts of data to both teams and the public, which create an opportunity for competitive advantage. Having access to information that competitors do not has a long history of providing teams and businesses with advantage," Alamar explains.

By consulting with reputable FileMaker developers, any athlete or organization can improve performance.