Turning data into a story is no small feat. And yet, some of the greatest stories of all time came from a simple look at the numbers.

Elite athletes have always had coaches who helped them understand the numbers that govern their work. Now, artificial intelligence and data analytics are turning high-level performance into a purely mathematical and scientific enterprise.

How will these new data analysts change the game? Sports are a multi-billion-dollar industry, but the players generate billions in revenue by themselves. They are the brand and the product. For the first time, they have access to data that can help them better understand their physical condition, performance patterns, and strengths and weaknesses.

Some of this is represented purely as numbers – how high they can jump, how fast their heart beats at peak performance. However some data is better represented as words, in a story, in a narrative. Players can now learn what they are, what they are capable of, and where they are going.

This is a new way of looking at the game. What if players could read their own stories and understand what they mean, not just what the numbers tell them? What if they could get a better understanding of their own potential and what they can do to achieve it?

This is not just about being the best that they can be, but understanding what makes them great in the first place and helping them contextualize this information in language and story, not just numbers.

Using data to tell the story of the game begins with the raw data. Sports analytics systems collect huge datasets and then analyze and compare the data to find patterns.

The process goes something like this:

Data is taken from the sensors worn on the body of the athlete. The data is then transmitted wirelessly to a central computer. The data is stored in the database. The data is analyzed for patterns. The data is presented to the athlete and coaches in a way that tells a story.

The end result is a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the athlete’s physical performance. The story may include a description of the athlete’s physical attributes as well as a breakdown of how their performance compares to the norm in their sport or even their profession.

The data story is the most important part of the process. It is about the athlete and what they are capable of. It will describe what the data means.

For example, the story might tell about the fact that they are a speedy player who outperforms the norm in their position. Or, it might tell them that they are a great shooter, but need to work on other parts of their game.

The story is about what the athlete is and what they are capable of. It describes the current state of the athlete and how they got to that point. But, most importantly, it tells the player how they can improve their game.

 

 This article was largely written by AI with some human editing.

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