Rise in Data Volumes and what this means for Sports Organisations (Blog 3)

12 May 2023 | Written by Andy Nutting

In Andy’s final blog of this series, he highlights what can be done to improve the utilisation of data. 


In my last article, published before Easter, I talked about the impact data was having on sports organisations, and how data analytics was increasingly becoming an important aspect of day to day activities.

Inevitably, all this activity results in the collection of huge amounts of data, which left unorganised, becomes a hindrance to effective data analysis and a risk to information compliance and security.

So what can be done? Well the key to improved utilisation of data is having a data strategy.

Data Strategy

A data strategy should be the cornerstone of your organisation’s ambitions to extract value from data and should be integrated with your business strategy.

Your strategy should outline where you want to be in five, ten or fifteen years’ time by ensuring all of your business data resources are organised in a way that enables them to be moved, shared, and used with ease and efficiency.

Ideally, your data strategy will provide you with a step-by-step guide as how to get there and help you to visualise your data insights. Use data visualisation tools to help tell stories by putting rows of data into a format that will illustrate the highlights and trends.

And remember, data and governance go hand in hand, so when starting your data journey, it’s crucial you have the right security processes in place, the right ethical documentation, and evidence of compliance with information regulations such as data protection.

On a business level, data strategies can define how a sports organisation can meet its goals using its data, set out changes it needs to make to maximise the value of its data, and define financial implications and benefits to data activities.

As some have speculated, data is the new currency, but unlocking its value can be challenging without a data strategy. Without a data strategy, different areas of the business will likely store, manage, and resolve data-related issues independently of one another.

That means that different areas might transfer raw data into whatever formats is available to them, which may cause organisational-wide data access and transfer issues. This leads to wasted resources and potentially exacerbates the creation of data silos.

If you’ve not already embarked upon a data strategy, for the reasons I’ve stated, it would be a valuable thing to do. If you’re designing one, remember that no two data strategies are the same, but think of including the four following components:


  • Business strategy – your data strategy should reinforce and advance your business strategy, which refers to the processes you use to operate and improve your organisation.
  • Organisational roles – your data strategy should include roles and responsibilities about who does what with data, to facilitate collaboration and avoid duplication.
  • Data architecture – this consists of the tools and processes that allow you to work with and analyse data. This may include a data catalogue of your datasets, or a data warehouse for storage.
  • Data management – this encourages all team members/employees to think of data as a business asset, rather than a by-product of business operations. Implement data governance to establish the processes and responsibilities that ensure data quality of the data used across the organisation.


Aim for innovation with your data strategy and ensure it empowers your users, members and/or supporters. And remember to address risk and regulations – any effective data strategy must address data security risks and compliance requirements.

Only 37% of sports organisations have a data strategy, and this is usually for only a year. 32% of sports organisations never review their data objectives. And only 10% of sports organisations have communicated their data objectives across the organisation, with 25% communicating it only to senior staff.

As I’ve discovered, many sports organisations now utilise and manipulate data for marketing purposes, or improve player and team performance, to keep players fit, or for better insight and interactions with fans and members.

But how many have a data strategy, which is widely communicated and understood across everyone in the organisation?

If you don’t consider having a data strategy to manage your data as important consider this – in 2021, people created 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day! By 2025, 200+ zettabytes of data will be in cloud storage around the world.

OK, but how much is a quintillion you ask? Well, possibly the best way to describe it is that it’s a billion billion or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Hard to comprehend? Let’s just say its very big. And that a zettabyte is even bigger!

Still not blown away by the magnitude of data being processed globally?

OK, well last year 333.2 billion emails were sent every day. Over 41 million messages were sent daily on WhatsApp – that’s daily!

There were 99,000 Google searches every second! Over 650 million new Tweets were posted every day!

During this year, there are expected to be around 1.3 billion Internet of Things (IoT) subscriptions. The number of IoT devices will reach 25.44 billion in 2030.

OK enough statistics – you get the point. Data growth is getting bigger and will only increase as more and more people gain access to the internet, use social media and other forms of digital communications.

Considering that most of the world’s data has been generated within the last two years alone, it’ll be interesting to look at how much data is being created in five years’ time.

A strategy for the management of data should be the starting block for sports organisations to truly exploit and extract value from their data assets. And let’s face it, the problem with data management is only going to intensify as the volume of data increases exponentially over the coming years.

The message is clear – get a data strategy.

If you need advice or help with developing a data strategy or any information governance issues, contact us at Veritau for an initial chat.

In the meantime, good luck managing all that lovely data!


If you’d like support managing your organisation’s data, our team can help.

You can keep up to date with Andy’s blogs on his LinkedIn profile.