Data is the Center of Everything

Data is the Center of Everything

In sports, data has become the key to success, not only to make teams more efficient but also to make viewers more satisfied and presented with exactly the content they expect, Matt Roberts, global director of research and analytics at F1, told ICTbusiness.info. According to him, in addition to F1, other sports are increasingly monitoring the data of their viewers in order to more easily create strategies and facilitate marketing decisions.

What can do data in the sport and what can the sport do for data?

Nowadays, data is everywhere across all sports. I’m not just talking about stats during the competition but also in the commercial side of the sport. If you take F1 as an example, we have the car data which helps the team to understand and improve performance on the track but we also have data about our fans (where they are? What they look like? How many are buying tickets or merchandise etc). At F1, we have moved from a sport who never used to use this data (pre 2017) to one where data is now central to everything that we do. We use data to help the business make marketing and strategic decisions as well as to understand how to improve our TV, digital and event experience for fans. So as you can see, data is becoming more and more instrumental for F1, and most other sports are also integrating data and research as part of their strategy as we head into the 2020s.

The importance of data in sport and journalism? What we can do?

Data and stats around sport can make for very compelling stories around sports. It is important to ensure that the data is robust and comes from a reputable source. We find at F1 that fans are fascinated by data around the sport and I think journalists can talk about this more to improve the interest and understanding around sport.

Importance of understanding of the costumers, fans? Market and data? Users vs data? How to implement that in the era of GDPR?

This is imperative for us at F1. Pre 2017, we knew nothing about our fans or their behaviours/needs. We now know more than ever about fans thanks to extensive market research and data analytics projects that we have put in place these last few years. Research and data helps to inform all decisions at F1 and we are fully immersed into all areas of the business. We have had to be careful with the new GDPR rules and change the way we are collecting data, but fortunately we didn’t have much data pre 2017 so we didn’t need to change too much. Many organisations had to simply start again but we were lucky at F1 that we were not particularly sophisticated in this area before the Liberty Media takeover in 2017.

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