Time to start finding those key insights – SAS Blog

Katherine Chinn, Analytics Specialist, SAS UK & Ireland

Since my opening blog about our new partnership with British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team, I’ve had a deep dive into their data and we’re now close to our first key milestone – having all the data about a rower in a single location, so we can then start analysing that information and discover key insights to help make the boat go faster.

The data is often collected under extreme pressure in multiple locations (up mountains, beside lakes and away on training camps) so it’s been difficult to develop a standardised approach. The challenge has therefore been to link all of that information together – i.e. to link data in one spreadsheet to data in another spreadsheet about the same rower. However, we’ve now managed to do this in relation to most historical data and a new consistent approach to recording data going forward is now in place.

Straight away it means coaches will be able to see everything they need to about a particular rower, rather than having to wait days for the information to come in from various sources. Biomechanical data from out on the water, for example, is now combined with all the indoor rowing data and other information such as blood lactate levels. Even sleep patterns are recorded to assess recovery between training sessions.

Members of the GB Rowing Team squad and staff recently visited our UK headquarters in Marlow. As well as finding out more about SAS and what we do for our customers, it was an opportunity for me to demonstrate the developments made with their data so far and show how easily and quickly this can now be accessed and displayed via our software.

We had a Q&A at the end and there was no shortage of questions from the rowers and the support staff. They seemed genuinely interested and excited about the things that we can do for them, particularly allowing rowers to access their data – even to the extent they can look up a single stroke on any given day across their entire history.

I am really excited to see their reaction when we show them the full extent of SAS’ capabilities and the advantages that this could bring to the training and their sport.

After a successful World Championships, the squad are now turning their attention to the next Olympic Games in Rio which is less than two years away. I could sense they see the partnership with SAS as being a key driver of improved performance – and, ultimately, that precious gold medal!