GB Rowing turns to big data to enhance performance

Analytics firm SAS will help the GB Rowing Team and British Rowing, the national body for the sport, drive improved performance through its big data solutions, it revealed today.

The technology will enable the coaches and rowers to make better decisions from all the available data, enhancing crew and individual training programmes and many other aspects of preparation so the team can peak for key events.

Sir David Tanner, performance director of the GB Rowing Team, said: “Performance is absolutely key to everything we do with the GB Rowing Team because on the international stage, small improvements are the difference between winning and losing.

“By partnering with SAS, we now have the capacity for much more in-depth and speedy analysis of the rowers, allowing us and them to optimise every session. We are a leading rowing nation in the world, and topped the medal table in 2012, but we know that others are not standing still.”

Alongside performance, SAS said its technology can also help to manage training programmes, and predict and prevent injury.

According to the company, triple Olympic medallist Greg Searle realised the potential of its data visualisation solution, SAS Visual Analytics, by analysing strength and conditioning data to help prevent injuries.

>See also: How to build a big data infrastructure

Data from his personal conditioning programme was analysed using the solution, revealing a weakness in his left side core strength. Had Searle and his coaches seen the pattern in the data at the time, they could have modified his training regime and limited the chance of the injury occurring in the first place.

SAS is also supporting British Rowing’s aim to get more young people interested in the sport, especially in areas not usually exposed to it, through its programmes in schools and use of indoor rowing facilities.

Some of the young people involved may go on to take part in junior championships or even make it all the way through to the GB Rowing Team.

British Rowing is implementing a SAS marketing optimisation solution to improve outbound marketing campaigns and help the organisation make the most of every member interaction.

Insights revealed by the SAS solutions will help British Rowing better understand its members and target audiences, improving loyalty and community engagement.

Neil Chugani, interim CEO at British Rowing, said: “This multi-faceted Analytics Partnership will be of significant value in the next three years for British Rowing. It will help us grow and develop our sport as well as making a difference at the cutting edge.

“Rowing is a great sport for people of all ages to get involved in. We have celebrated many achievements in recent years and it is essential that we continue to nurture our next generation of rowers to build on the success to date in British Rowing. The partnership with SAS will help us continue to build on current participation levels as well as develop great rowers of the future.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...