in Sport

July 26, 2022

Leading sport and entertainment consultancy Gemba, has undertaken research to understand the current state of data and analytics maturity across the Australian sports industry.

The research revealed that there is a large gap between intent and execution when it comes to leveraging data to support organisational objectives in sport.

Australian sports organisations rated themselves on average 5.6 out of 10 for data maturity. While satisfaction with data technology, use of membership, ticketing data, and data-driven marketing barely rated a pass mark. Only in high-performance did sports organisations feel moderately satisfied with their use of data and analytics, rating themselves 7.4 on average.

Of the sports organisations surveyed 47% said they had a data strategy in place, whilst only 20% stated that their data strategy was linked to commercial outcomes. Furthermore, a third of organisations rated their level of data and analytics capability as “low” or “none”.

So why are Australian sports organisations so dissatisfied and behind in the data game?

Among the main reasons stated by sports organisations was a lack of direction (data strategy), technology that doesn’t support data aspirations, an inability to access data when it’s needed, and a lack of data expertise. To exacerbate these issues, data was often locked up in organisational silos as critical data engineering skills remain scarce across the industry.

According to Mark Zucco – Head of Strategy, Data & Analytics at Gemba the research highlighted that whilst senior sports business executives accept the importance of data to on and off-field success, there is a large gap between aspiration and execution.

“While data analytics has emerged as a tool, capability, and strategic priority for many Australian sports organisations, the reality of disparate and incomplete data sets, poor data access, limited focus, and low investment is leading to internal frustration and an apparent lack of progress,” said Zucco.

“There is currently an extremely high demand for qualified and capable data professionals which means these resources are expensive to hire and hard to keep, not to mention the technology they’re required to operate,” he said.

To shape a better future for the Australian sports sector it’s time for the industry to move from the era of talking about data into a new era of practical and meaningful data strategy implementation that optimises processes, improves customer experiences and drives commercial and customer growth.

Click here to download a copy of the Research Report – Data Games: How Data & Analytics is driving the business of sport.