Analytics is not just about saving money: NSW Waratahs

Rugby teams find value in predictive analytics to help prevent player injuries
Analytics will be used by the NWS Waratahs to help prevent injuries during training (pictured) and on the field.

Analytics will be used by the NWS Waratahs to help prevent injuries during training (pictured) and on the field.

Predictive analytics are not just about reducing costs, according to Waratahs Rugby CEO Jason Allen.

Allen made the observation as the rugby team announced a two year arrangement with IBM to monitor its 35 player team via analytics technologies to help prevent injuries.

“A model like predictive analytics isn’t just about cost savings,” he said.

“By partnering with a leading technology vendor such as IBM, we’re looking at ways at advance our business.”

Even so, Allen admits that some people may view predictive analytics as a “great way to save some costs” for a business, enabling them to forecast outcomes instead of reacting to them.

“We can instead manage our business more effectively, as well as our athletes that are a core component of our business,” he said.

“This is the capital of our business, and it is important that we manage them well into the future.”

Allen also has high expectations for how the predictive analytics will benefit the rugby team in the coming year.

“A predictive model like this will give us the edge we believe to win the competition, and mark my words, we will win,” he said.

“Having a technology partner like IBM will make a big difference in ensuring its success comes to the both of us.”

A mutual arrangement

The predictive analytics announcement with IBM comes is a continuation of an existing partnership the Waratahs had with the technology vendor.

With the two year announcement, the Waratah’s relationship with IBM will extend to a total of nine years.

Allen said the extension in the partnership comes as information and sport are converging, and moving from sensing and responding to predicting and acting.

“When you have partnerships that aren’t sponsorships or just about transacting cash, they are about building upon each other’s businesses and adding value,” he said.

“I feel that we do that and extraordinarily well, and we’re leaders in the field around sport.”

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.