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Groundbreaking Sports Analytics conference at MBS
28.11.2011, WiWi-Online.net
The UK's first Sports Analytics conference brought together professionals from across the world at Manchester Business School to discuss how analytics can be applied to enhance sport and business performance.

Speakers included Professor Bill Gerrard, a world authority in the area of statistical performance analysis and evidence based coaching and Raffaele Poli, the founder of the Swiss based Football Observatory, which uses analytics methods to undertake research projects for the global football industry.

The event also featured a unique presentation by members of Manchester City Football Club's analysis department who provided an overview of the evolution of analysis in professional football and illustrated the huge potential the discipline has to contribute positively to a major sports organisation.

The speakers discussed the future of sports analytics and gave an insight into their collective experience of working within the discipline.

Phil Clarke, Director of The Sports Office Director said: "The conference gave sports professionals from the high performance sector a unique opportunity understand more about the tremendous value of analytics to their organisations.

"The quality of the presentations and the networking that took place are set to be a springboard for further critical thinking and innovation in professional sport. One of the main messages that emerged was that the principles of analytics are accepted and used in many major industries and these same principles could and should apply in all sports".

Clarke, a former Great Britain Rugby League captain who is also an expert summariser with Sky Sports, added: "The event was attended by representatives of leading clubs in UK and European football as well as both codes of rugby, cricket and several of the Olympic sports and we believe that they will have taken away a strong impression of the power of analytics has to help them improve their athletes and get full value from all their coaching and preparation".

There were fascinating contributions by Wigan Warriors and Oxford United owner Ian Lenagan, Opta's Data Director Rob Lowe, performance expert Fergus Connolly, Decision Technology's Ian Graham and Nick Broad from Management Analytics.

The event culminated with a question and answer session with former Chelsea FC analyst Steve Houston.

Phil Clarke also expressed his thanks for the assistance the conference received from Manchester Business School: "We would like to thank the team for the tremendous support they have provided. They have given us every assistance in the build-up to the Sports Analytics conference and have been superb partners as we developed and shaped the agenda and the range of speakers".
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