The role of data in sport
When dealing with Australian Sporting Associations it is noticeable that they could be doing much, much more with the funding they receive from State or National governments. It could be getting directed to specific regions and clubs based on insightful, grassroots data rather than gut instinct.
But data isn’t being collected because the systems in place are woefully inadequate or built for national bodies rather than local bodies where the data gets fed in from.
Data should do three things:
- Confirm or disprove what sporting associations are already thinking.
- Make the sporting bodies ask the right questions.
- Cause the sporting bodies to act on what is discovered.
Whilst the federal government continues to provide blanket funding to sporting bodies who don’t have appropriate data and governance systems suitable for all levels of sport it will continue to be wasted.
One size does not fit all. Pluggable APIs, pluggable UIs, pluggable UXs are all required. Australian Sports needs to get smarter with the data they’re not collecting. It will help the competitors, the high-performance athletes, the volunteers, the supporters and other stakeholders at all levels.
This is big picture thinking that is simply not being done, and not even being discussed which is sadly to everyone’s detriment.
Paying for help.
Typically clubs pay for the things that they consider matter (and they do), things like more footballs, coaching talent, training equipment or more drink bottles. Unfortunately there seems to be no desire to get better at the administration things that matter. A long day at work usually sours our desire for administration at the club. We tend to avoid another meeting, reading more notes and dealing with other overheads.
Now consider how much better it would be to get better at:
Recording the numbers
How to hold a meeting
Giving a presentation
Short-cutting membership registration
How to attract and retain volunteers
How to raise money
But for most of us we need to wing it. We stumble over the same hurdles as the person before us. Paying for tools to make your job, and the job of the person that comes after you is something worth doing and will allow you to recruit and retain volunteers around you.