February 10, 2020

Sports Innovation with No Limits By Brett S. Pollack

Analytics has been disrupting sports for many years. In the 1960’s, the Dallas Cowboys employed statistical innovator, A. Salam Qureishi, to rank football players quantitatively to create a competitive advantage and help the Cowboys become “America’s Team.” This story was later the topic of the short film, “The Cowboy and the Indian.”

Fast-forward to the 2000’s and we came to see the Oakland A’s analytical success, later immortalized in the book, “MoneyBall.” Although ultimately falling short of winning a championship title, the A’s optimized their roster by using analytics to find bargains in underrated players who exceeded expectations.

Several teams since have embraced analytics and won championships as a result. A prime example is in 2018 when the Eagles upset the Patriots in what I’ve called, “The Statistical Super Bowl.” 1 Both teams employed statistical methods to make near optimal decisions throughout the game. There were three 4th down conversions, 1,151 yards in offense, 74 total points and just ONE punt! This brought the topic of analytics to the forefront of mainstream sports.

Today, sports analytics includes the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data and next-generation software development. Leveraging the capabilities of machine learning will amplify results and its use will undoubtedly be even more commonplace in the future. Some exciting applications include coaches utilizing AI for play-calling or to enhance player performance. We believe having powerful and fast digital applications that improve decision-making and/or performance will become a requirement!

But how can sports-minded organizations maximize their applications and take advantage of data, AI and the Internet? The answer is OutSystems!

Using OutSystems low-code platform, The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who struggled to incorporate data, built a new app within a week that incorporated sensor data, video, coach observations, and training plans–together in one place. The results included cutting app development costs, higher player performance, fewer injuries, and improved engagement from coaches and athletes.

Now everyone wants an app.

Examples like this help explain why software development in sports is gaining traction. Teams are finding ways to maximize their outcomes by developing solutions that take advantage of machine learning, web & mobile app development, and more. Several teams have software developers on staff including the last three Super Bowl winners; the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.

Every team, league, or university can operate in this manner and at a much faster pace by embracing a “fit for purpose” low-code application development platform that allows organizations to apply their unique strategy.

OutSystems’ leading low-code application development platform can help digitally transform your business. Whether it is building best-in-class player development apps like the ECB or fan applications like SL Benfica, we can help you construct fast, dynamic, transformational apps that will give your organization the winning edge!

1- The Statistical Super Bowl

About the Author

Brett S. Pollack is a strategic technology expert. Currently, he is leading the Strategic Finance team for OutSystems, the number one low-code rapid-application development platform. Prior to OutSystems, Brett spent 15 years on Wall Street and worked at CA Technologies and Qlik, a leading data visualization company, where he guided their MIT Sports Analytics Conference sponsorship. Brett has a Master’s Degree in Data Science from Northwestern University, completing courses in Sports Analytics and is a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, but please don’t hold that against him.