Hollywood actor Brad Pitt will star in a film next year called Moneyball which tells the story of Billy Beane, a baseball manager who turned a failing team's fortunes around by eschewing traditional coaching methods.
Beane used in-depth statistical data analysis to help the Oakland As buy the best players based on true indicators of success over a season, rather than normal market valuations.
The film's upcoming release coincides with a growing realisation in the sporting world that empirical data can drive improvements that traditional methods cannot.
After all, sports teams using data analytics to influence training and tactics seems to make sense, given that millions of pounds are invested by business men and women who want to see a speedy return on investment.
Yet tactics are still based on old-fashioned ideals such as experience, nous and intuition which, according to those at the cutting edge of data use in sport, are always beaten by data.
"There is still an old-school mentality in football among coaches and managers, but this is starting to change," explained Gavin Fleig, head of performance analytics at Manchester City Football Club.
"Before, it was all about emotional responses to games and training regimes that said: 'We did this last week and we won, so we should do it again.' But by really analysing and understanding data you can generate a far more relevant system."
Fleig is speaking deep behind enemy lines in an executive box at Chelsea FC during an event hosted by IBM, a company constantly reminding the world of its desire to build a 'smarter planet' through the use of data storage and analytics.
Fleig has some telling examples of how a deeper understanding of data provided by companies such as Sportscode and Prozone is helping Manchester City to transform its performance on the pitch.
"For example, during a previous manager's regime at the club we went on a dire run of only scoring two goals in 21 games from set pieces, so we set up a research project to look into this," he said.
"We analysed data from the top five European leagues [the Premiership, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga and the French top division] to work out the optimum ways to use set pieces - the delivery, key areas, movements and runs - and applied this in training."
The results were startling. The team scored four goals from set pieces in the first six games of the new season having used the data to influence training.
Flieg also explained how the club is using rigorous statistical analysis to realise its ambition of becoming a Champions League team by using more relevant statistics to influence its buying decisions.
"We aspire to be a top four team so we collect data from all the European leagues and weekly from the Premiership to define what makes a top four team and use this to influence our strategies," he said.
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