Those who know me, know I am a data geek. For most of my career I have worked with and represented data companies and I still get excited when talking about how companies can make better business decisions after getting insights into questions they didn't even know existed. From business intelligence 20+ years ago to data analytics today or whatever you want to call it, insights drawn from a company's data has become part of the lifeblood of every company. In the technology world it is a necessity so why wouldn't it be the same for even NFL football.
Sure, data is how many choose their fantasy football teams, memorize their favorite players' stats, how we track who is ahead in the race to the super bowl, but now the NFL is taking it to the next level. RFID chips built into the balls to study how the ball passes through the goal posts and they even use similar technology in their pads to study the force of the hit of a defensive line man. All with the hopes to gain insight into what is working, what isn't and what needs to be fixed to be more successful.
We do the same. We constantly work to measure key performance indicators, results data such as the number of unique articles in what types of publications, key message pull through and more. So why would it be any different for an offensive coach to want to be able to study data of how fast his third string rookie quarterback can through the ball in comparison with his first string. If faster, then he might make the better decision to put him in against the opposing team based on pure numbers.
But we know we can't just rely on the numbers. The quarter back still needs to have good aim, a strong enough arm and he needs to practice, practice and practice some more to make the numbers matter. We are going to see the usage of data in our every day lives more and more just like it has taken over the business world. And for our clients we are that head coach who has taken the years of experience, brought in the data to lay out the plays of the game and then watched the post game video to measure success and course correct to win next game.
The data, generated by radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips built into each ball, will be targeted for use by broadcasters as part of the league's Next-Gen statistics program.