After a relaxed Christmas break Bertie and I were Itching to get back to the North East to carry on our work. The break had given us a good amount of time to reflect on our first three months with the company and to understand just how much progress we had made.
Early in the New Year, Phil, Bertie and I hosted a meeting with a number of the county analysts at Edgbaston, home of the Warwickshire Bears. The meeting centred around Data Analysis and we showcased the work we had undertaken using Tableau, a Business Intelligence software which originates in the USA. We left Edgbaston with a feeling of enthusiasm based on the feedback we got from the group. We are now looking ahead to the season to see how our support might help Durham and Yorkshire during the 2017 campaign.
Following our Edgbaston meeting our focus has been on highlighting the difference between Tableau and ‘old school’ analysis. We have been lucky to work, hands on, with Yorkshire Head Coach Andrew Gale, Captain Gary Ballance and other members of the Yorkshire support staff over the past few weeks. Tableau has given us the ability to analyse data more deeply and visualise it more attractively. The image below illustrates this very clearly.
As a batsman, Tim Bresnan scored more runs than any other player in the 18/19/20th overs of the 2016 NatWest T20 Blast, scoring his runs at a strike rate of over 200.
With our ever improving knowledge of Tableau, we have made another trip to Yorkshire this week to table our initial thoughts regarding the 2017 T20 competition and also to attend the North Region Tableau User Group which we enjoyed immensely.
Having the ability to sit in on these types of meetings has enabled Bertie and I to see a different side of sport and how, in every sense these days, sport has to be seen as a business and use both business principles and practices.
BUCS Wednesdays have been relatively quiet in comparison to previous weeks with a number of teams preparing for the playoff stages of the season. Durham playing Loughborough in their varsity fixture however gave me a chance to experience my first away trip whilst being on placement. This was a great experience as I was able to work independently and support a number of Durham teams on the road.
In terms of the teams we work with, Women’s Football and Women’s Lacrosse have already won their respective North Leagues, whilst a number of other teams are well placed going into the final rounds of North Group matches. The Men’s Rugby team have managed to find success in recent weeks with some important results to effectively confirm them a spot in the top four. After a disappointing result against Exeter in our first week back from Christmas, they put the result behind them with a battling 15-10 win against Team Northumbria. They then backed this up with an excellent result away at Exeter this week with a 22-23 victory (after being 19-5 down in the 1st half). Bertie and I are very much looking forward to welcoming Bath up to the North East in a fortnights time. We do though have the difficulty of choosing who to support for this fixture. Perhaps we will split it between the two of us? All that I know is, Bertie has his Team Bath rugby hoodie in the North East, just so he can wear it during this fixture.
Our placement year couldn’t really be going much better at the moment. We have learnt so much in our time in the North East and it has opened up to so many different sides of sport that we didn’t expect to see which has been great. We are very much looking forward to the next part of our placement adventure and we can’t wait for the start of the cricket season. It just needs to get at least 10 degrees warmer!!
By Daniel Wiseman