Data-driven Decision Making for Your Athletic Program
Numbers not only tell the story of your performance, but also shape the perception of your program.
By Vinay Mullick
Data can — and should — be an important part of your athletic program, both internally and externally. The term 'big data' has already become a cliche, but that is, at least in part, and indication that we now understand that data is crucial to run a more efficient and effective program, school, or business.
Having a clear overview of your program's performance can be a huge asset when raising funds or gathering community support. Those three things — programming, school, and business — come together when you're looking to build or manage a successful athletic department.
Part 1: Why Data Matters
The stakes are too high, the budgets too tight, and folks care way too much about outcomes to not have data to backup your decisions.
Having a clear overview of your program’s performance can be a huge asset when raising funds or gathering community support.
Develop Your Programs
Data grants you the ability to make more informed decisions:
No longer do you have to always use your "gut feeling" or go off a hunch — you can confirm or disprove what you were already thinking based on the numbers.
How is Your Program Impacting Students?
Student-athlete outcome data can be used not only to determine the performance of your program overall, but also of individual coaches specific teams or groups — then, those lessons can be applied more generally.
Part 2: How to Get Started
First, you’ll need to determine how to effectively gather the data you’re looking for. If you run an afterschool or community impact program, our platform, UpActive, is built to help you do just that.
Next, you’ll need to analyze the data. Remember: 80% of data analysis is spent on the process of cleaning and preparing the data.
Step 1: Define Your Stakeholders
Step 2: Identify Priorities
Step 3: Define Dataset and Goals
Step 4: Access and Prepare Data
Determine what data your school is already collecting and storing:
Determine data you would like to start collecting or grouping:
Identify resources to assist with data collection and analysis:
Correlate your data to find insights:
Step 5: Spread the Word
Now you have your insights…Where do you go?
Note: Be prepared for questions, feedback, and potential backlash as you justify your data collection and analysis.
Step 6: Review, Tweak, Repeat