State of the Industry

State of the Industry – Phase 1 

  • Data is rarely discussed in 20% of sports businesses 
  • Most businesses find it difficult to create and keep their data in one place. 
  • Almost all businesses agree that getting support from senior management makes the difference between success and failure. 
  • Nearly half of all businesses use dynamic dashboards for business intelligence. 

These are the top findings from our recent “state of the industry” survey – the first phase of a discovery piece that we’re slowly rolling out – and I’m sure many of you reading this won’t be too surprised at some of our early findings. 

As a consultant working with clients as diverse as UEFA, AS Roma, and the INEOS Grenadiers, to British Weight Lifting, Lincoln City FC, and USL Championship, we see a wide range in data capability. And we continue to meet rights owners who are aligned with the 13% that, when asked in our survey, “where are you in the use of data to inform decisions and deliver personalised messaging?” responded “ground zero”. But great news at the other extreme where 9% of sports businesses responded that they’re a data-centric organisation – with a further 16% saying data is part of almost every conversation and 38% making progress and working to a plan

We were keen to know what respondents felt about the relative ease, or difficulty, of certain areas and found that with the exception of maintaining a single customer view and, to a lesser degree, justifying budgets businesses were quite evenly split into our specific discussion points: 

From Getting Buy-in To Finding Actionable Insights In Data 

State of the Industry Winners FDD

In response to the question: When thinking about your current or previous experience, please rate the following areas for difficulty or ease based on the challenge they present(ed) to you. 

That question covered off seven key areas for us, but we wanted more insight from across the industry so we asked for our respondents’ agreement to the following six statements: 

State of the Industry Winners FDD

In response to: Please indicate your level of agreement with each of the following statements. 

How Do You Use Data? 

They say data’s the biggest of all four-letter words because of the multiple interpretations and applications; so, we asked which of your business areas used a data-driven approach and, unsurprisingly, marketing was the most common with staff recruitment at the bottom of the list: 

State of the Industry Winners FDD

In response to: Please indicate which areas of your business apply a data-driven approach, i.e. you use statistics or customer data to support the action (select all that apply). 

How Do You Access Data? 

Who accesses your data and how they get that access is a key element of your data governance so we asked our respondents how data is accessed in their organisation. It was great to see that nearly half of you use dynamic dashboards and/or have direct access to systems where exports can be performed. One quarter of you are still using an agency like Winners, or other external resources, with the same number benefitting from a department that serves the needs of the whole business. 

State of the Industry Winners FDD

In response to: How is data accessed by you and your colleagues (please select all that apply). 

So what?

Through our client work, we train ourselves to ask “so what?” whenever we’re looking at data – it ensures we’re not using “data for data’s” sake; but focusing on those actionable insights that will make a difference. 

In this case, the findings we’ve taken from our early-stage research is that there is indeed more than the sports industry could be doing to make progress and more that Winners can be doing to assist. It’s also clear that for any sort of industry assessment to be of value we need to be providing solutions to the challenges you’re having.  

Watch this space for more from Winners or contact us directly for an immediate response. 

Thanks for Participating and Congratulations to our Winners 

Thanks to everyone who participated in our phase 1 study and congratulations to three of our winners from Debrecen, Ekerö, and Maynooth who each received a copy of Winning with Data in the Business of Sports.  We’ve two unclaimed prizes and will give the recipients a further two weeks to respond to our emails before drawing another two winners.