Technological advancements have transformed the world as we know it, arguably nowhere more so than in the world of business. The digital tools available now enable us to learn more about our customers and business environment than ever before. The data is out there alongside the tools needed to access it, however you must know how to fully take advantage of what you discover. This is where business intelligence comes into play and can be the key to an effective modern business strategy.
WHAT IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE?
Described as a technology-driven process used for analysing strategic data and delivering actionable information, business intelligence (BI) is a solution that helps executives, managers and workers collaborate to make informed business decisions by allowing them to discover more about trends and processes that are affecting their organisational performance. Maximising the use of BI can help a firm create a clear picture of why things are happening within their business environment, what is likely to occur in the future, and to adapt their processes to be prepared for such events.
WHY IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SO IMPORTANT IN FOOTBALL?
Through the presentation of current and historical data within the context of their business, analysts can leverage the data provided by BI and transform it into performance and competitor benchmarks that assist an organisation in operating in a more smooth and efficient manner. Utilising BI within football clubs, who hold mass amounts of important data, can optimise and maximise revenues by placing a particular focus on relevant KPIs. Accounting for 60-80% of the industry average wage to revenue ratio, players (alongside sales, ticketing, sponsorship and CRM data) stand as one of the most integral assets of a football club and every decision made relating to them impacts the business as whole. Therefore, this highlights the importance of financial operations being incorporated directly alongside technical procedures within the decision-making process.
The BI tool provides a detailed analysis of the business information contained within the player’s contract, used to determine the economic conditions of both the player and the club, as it provides information based on the costs determined by the clauses within the players’ contract, alongside the cash flow that makes up the balance sheet and, consequently, overall value of the club. In football, however, BI is not used solely for financial data purposes, but also for analysing physical and technical performances, wellbeing and health status. Ensuring football players are correctly looked after to a substantial level protects a fundamental asset of a football club by reducing and preventing the risk of injury, which represents a substantial cost to the organisation both financially and in terms of performance. Using BI to track and monitor athletes also allows clubs to identify the potential talents of each player, enabling them to implement strategic training sessions that encourage maximum growth and nourishment of each individual that represents a future asset of the club.
Nowadays, clubs are expected to make quick decisions relating to their players and teams, such as contract renewals, purchasing and selling of players, developing talents and selecting those to play in important matches. In surroundings where financial stability is so important, a lack of information and incorrect numbers could lead to wrong decisions being made that can negatively impact the economic health of the club, effect on-pitch results, and damage player wellbeing.
In an environment governed by relative dynamics, experience is indispensable and gains further value when information is freely available at your fingertips. Access to constant, real-time monitoring of player asset information provides a huge competitive advantage as you are directly provided with the final output of analysed, ready-to-use data that can be leveraged and turned into actions. The competitive advantage of football clubs is not in relation to the large amounts of data they have, but more the people, process and tools at their disposal that can make data meaningful and transform it into actionable insights.
HOW CAN BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BE APPLIED IN A FOOTBALL CLUB?
In a dynamic environment with a highly diversified level of business activity, results-based decisions are formed through a constant exchange of information between different departments. Any data analysed can be much more useful when it is directly transferred to the software within the pockets of all staff members and accessible to them whenever they please. Particularly during the time of negotiations, decision-makers within technical departments must be able to make informed choices by having instant access to all relevant information required as necessary. Having access to a real-time dashboard outlining the current market situation can allow the necessary parties to make informed, educated choices through the use of relevant analytics.
One of the most important KPIs of an organisation is the wage bill, used to measure the overall value of a club. By closely monitoring your resources and maximising the use of those available to you, it is possible to deploy the best possible team performance. Budgets define and delimit the range of possibilities to allow goals to be proportionally aligned, involving everything from the transfer window to contract bonuses and clauses. Matching budgets with organisational ambitions is essential before entering the market to not only buy, but also sell players as failure to complete this process can often result in financial issues. BI can also be used to calculate the expected return on investment based on the availability of players in both games and training.
HOW DOES ITERPRO’S BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOLUTION WORK?
Simply analysing performance data is not enough, it must be contextualised within the role of the player as an employee that must bring results like any other. Predictions in football are effectively worthless, as it is far more important to elaborate on the numbers that are required by clubs. Offering a 360° asset management solution, Itepro offers a complete package that connects the dots between filtering, digesting and interpreting data collected on the pitch, right through to the board by widening the scope of player management. Through a guarantee of information accuracy, work optimisation levels are increased which directly improves the quality of life for everyone involved with a club. Timings in football are even further reduced in comparison to other realities as many diverse departments are required to constantly interact with each other in a smooth manner, particularly in instances where the ordinary management of operations is affected and a quick response from the corporate side is required.
Of course, this does not mean that there is no data to be managed without the use of BI: you choose. You choose how to invest your time and trust. You choose how to ease your job and the way it is conducted, simplifying and speeding up your daily work life, tracking and empowering the right factors and ascribing responsibilities driven by data. Using BI is not the only way to make decisions, but as Peter Drucker said “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”.