A game-changing data solution for New Zealand Cricket

Published on the 10/10/2019 | Written by Qrious

NZ Cricket player data and analytics solution

AT A GLANCE

New Zealand Cricket (NZC)
INDUSTRY

  • Sport

BUSINESS OBJECTIVE

  • To optimise data and analytics
  • To free up the performance analytics team to focus on drawing insights
  • To streamline and automate the data processes

SOLUTION

  • Microsoft Azure cloud

BUSINESS BENEFITS

  • Improved analytics capability
  • Real-time capabilities and machine learning algorithms
  • Discover more efficiencies including access to data from international teams
  • Better informed coaches and players with access to key reports

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Qrious
W: www.qrious.co.nz
E: info@qrious.co.nz
T: 0800 500 331

Implementation of an innovative data and analytics solution to improve player performance and gain an edge over the competition…

New Zealand’s national cricket teams are among the top performing in the world, consistently proving themselves against rivals such as Australia, India and England.

In this highly competitive environment, it’s crucial that NZC harness modern data and analytics to help the BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS get an edge on the competition.

Analysts are able to spend more time analysing – and that’s what adds value

As the governing body for professional cricket, NZC has plenty of data. But, like many other organisations, they weren’t able to easily extract actionable insights which they could feed back to coaches and players in a timely manner.

With national pride at stake, NZC needed a new way of handling, automating and analysing performance data, and challenged Qrious to find a solution.

By implementing an innovative data and analytics solution and taking advantage of the latest in cloud and data automation technologies, Qrious has enabled NZC to focus more time on analysis, and to put the insights they uncovered to good use improving game strategy and player performance.

“Through the automation, standardisation and integration of data, analysts are able to spend more time analysing – and that’s what adds value. The organisation now sees more value from their analysts and are choosing to increase investment in this area.”
Paul Warren, Performance Analysis Manager, NZC

The Challenge
NZC has been using data to analyse player performance for many years. But it was a time-consuming and manual process. More time was spent collating and formatting the data than analysing it and putting it to use.

The data itself took the form of tagged videos. But, the way in which the videos were coded meant there wasn’t always an effective way to analyse that data, understand ball-by-ball play and feed insights back into training and performance.

There was also the issue of the data’s formatting. As NZC were able to use multiple information and coding sources it also led to different formats and interpretations of data. This required a lot of manual manipulation to get it to a point where it would make sense.

With visuals and coding for every game of cricket spanning many years, there was a lot of data to work through. And continuing to do the analysis manually meant they couldn’t get to the in-depth insights that would provide the most value.

The solution
“When NZC challenged us to optimise their data and analytics, we knew we had to find a solution that would free up their performance analytics team to focus on what was most important: drawing insights to feed back to coaches and players” says Evan Wilson, Director, Analytics and Services for Qrious.

“We worked to streamline and automate their data processes to remove the limitations created by having to do it manually.”

The first step was to implement the Microsoft Azure cloud environment. This enabled NZC to automate the collection, cleaning and integration of multiple data sets, including match, ball tracking and weather data, and store this in a single platform.

From the Azure environment NZC can easily extract data as required into Tableau or PowerBI for analysis and reporting. It’s a scalable solution, so as NZC gains access to more data sets, they can easily integrate these into the platform for analysis.

The result
Improved analytics capability
With a standardised data collection process in place, NZC can now access more data sources, align them and achieve a better overview of the various data points available to analyse player performance.

By automating these processes, time spent pulling data together and running reports has been greatly reduced. Instead, this time can be invested in data analysis, extracting relevant insights and passing this on to the coaches and players, who can then use it to inform player selection and game strategies.

Scalability
The flexibility of the cloud-based environment means the solution is easily scaled to integrate more data and continually gain deeper insights. It can also be easily adopted by other New Zealand Cricket teams, including at a domestic level.

The cloud environment also offers easy access to real-time capabilities and machine learning algorithms. Increased use of analytics across the board will help drive a better standard of cricketer, as well as ensure the best players are guided up the ranks to play at international level.

“The ease of access to standardised data from which we can generate outputs to feed back into training and performance is at a new level.”
Paul Warren, Performance Analysis Manager, NZC

Discover more efficiencies
As well as their own historical data NZC has access to data from international teams which they can integrate and store in Azure. They can replicate the analysis used for New Zealand players to those they’re playing against and use this data to influence how they approach the game. By knowing how an opponent has played previously they can better predict what they’re likely to do, inform players what to look out for and understand how best to play against them.

Better informed coaches and players
Accessible data and insights allow for more relevant information to be passed on to coaches and players and key reports are generated automatically as part of the training process. Coaches and players now have access to smarter, higher quality output from the analysis with which they can make more informed decisions around training and preparation for the next match. Coaches are empowered to ask for more specific information on any aspect of a game, and analysts can easily generate relevant insight to give the team a competitive edge.

Source: This article was originally sourced from Qrious

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