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Automated Data Analysis: Not Just for World Cup Winners

By Elfriede Dustin—The 2014 World Cup is now over. It captured the hearts of millions throughout the last four weeks. Most will say the best team won: Germany. Now the analysis begins. How did Germany do it? In addition to having players that are groomed for the game from a young age, outstanding coaches and  intense training, what other factors contributed to Germany’s competitive advantage?  It turns out that one of their strategies included detailed data analysis.

#iIn the past week, it has been reported that the German soccer team utilized a software tool called Match Insights that collects and analyzes video data from on-field cameras—including player position and speed. Apparently, Match Insights is capable of producing over seven million data points while recording ten players with three balls over a period of just ten minutes. [i] The data points are entered into a database which runs analytics and allows coaches to access metrics for specific players. This capability enabled the German team to study not only its own performance but also that of its competitors, enhancing their strategies and play. Certainly this information gave Germany another advantage in their matches and helped them come out ahead of the competition.

Imagine having to accomplish this type of data analysis manually. Many teams still do this, but most likely they don’t have the time or resources to collect the extensive amount that is enabled with a capability like Match Insights. It would take untold hours and days to collect and sift through the large amounts of data needed and derive useful results from it–time that would probably be better spent practicing.

Taking advantage of technological advances to turn in winning performances is important not only for soccer teams but also for engineering teams responsible for the performance of large, software-based systems. Data must be collected and analyzed efficiently to enhance system design, algorithms, software development, and the user’s experience. Manual data analysis efforts are just no match for “big data” where waiting for results can take weeks or even months, and still have only a subset of the data evaluated.

Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT) offers systems and software engineering teams an alternative with ATRT: Analysis Manager, a powerful automated data analysis process and technology that includes video data analysis. It rapidly evaluates system behavior based on the automated analysis of the system’s data against requirements and performance specifications.

ATRT: Analysis Manager supports large, complex, software-based systems in which the desired analysis exceeds the capacity of human analysts and program resources. It can rapidly analyze gigabytes of data in mere minutes and allows users to make quick decisions based on outcomes. With automated data analysis, gone are the days where analysts have to sift through reams of Excel sheets for hours, days and weeks on end to provide analysis that is often outdated by the time it becomes available.

Interested in learning more about an approach to data analysis that will save time, improve quality and give you the competitive edge? Contact IDT for more information.

Elfriede Dustin is a Technical Director at Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT) and one of the primary engineers involved in the development of ATRT technology.


[i] Sophie Curtis, “Germany’s World Cup Tactics: Shaped by Data, The Telegraph, July 13, 2014, accessed July 16, 2014. (Link: The Telegraph)

Steven Norton, “Germany’s 12th Man at the World Cup: Big Data,” Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2014, accessed July 16, 2014. (Link:  WSJ)