UK Sport has renewed its partnership with CGI with a multi-year contract, under which the consultancy will continue to work closely with the UK Sport Intelligence Team to unlock relevant information on sports performance to increase the UK Olympic and Paralympic teams’ competitive advantage.
UK Sport was founded in 1997 by Royal Charter, when it succeeded the earlier Sports Council of Great Britain. The organisation is part of the UK Government’s directing the development of sports within the UK, aimed primarily at the Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. UK Sport uses its various funding streams, including lottery money, to invest in sports in which the UK has a strong presence. The organisation’s increasing investment in athletes for the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games is correlated with better medal tallies. The 2012 London Summer Olympics was one of the most successful for the country, keeping 65 medals – including 29 gold – in the country.
To achieve success, UK Sport invests in: performance (investment, evaluation, solutions); events (investment, bidding, support); international (influence, development); governance, leadership, financial accounting; and science, medicine and technology (via the home nation institutes). As part of its remit, the organisation also partners with the National Governing Bodies of Sports to ensure they operate as effectively as possible, as well as engages with independent parties for a range of services that improve sporting outcomes.
The multi-year partnership with CGI will see the consulting firm provide UK Sport with information technology and business process services. CGI has already been working with UK Sport as the organisation’s Official Systems Integration Partner. In this capacity, the firm provided a team of experts, the Digital Transformation Team, which worked closely with the UK Sport’s Sport Intelligence Team to deliver and enhance the data management and analysis capabilities that provide the UK’s sporting teams with a competitive advantage.
The new deal will see CGI’s team continue to work closely with the Sport Intelligence team, providing them with an analysis of the vast trove of data available to the organisation to inform key decision making. The data analysis will be further deepened to gain a better understanding of the athletes’ performance, enabling the Sport Intelligence Team to “provide guidance and support to sports underpinned by more detailed information and analysis.”
“Insight derived from information analytics and sports data science can help make the difference between winning gold or not at the highest level, where the margins are extremely tight,” comments Craig Wallace, VP Digital Transformation at CGI, on the partnership. “Working in partnership with the UK Sport’s Sport Intelligence team we have been able to deliver digital solutions that will support UK Sport in creating a competitive advantage in this area. We are excited about the prospect of delivering digital innovations that will help increase the UK’s success on the World stage.”
Simon Timson, Director of Performance at UK Sport, adds: “In order for us to maintain our competitive advantage on the world stage, we need to be able to make smart, well informed decisions on how and where to invest for the greatest performance impact. With CGI’s support we have a greater amount of insightful information readily available to us than ever before as we go for gold in Rio, PyeongChang and Tokyo.”
CGI is not the only consultancy invested in enhancing the performance of athletes through the leverage of data. IBM recently signed three sporting partnerships to provide the power of the Watson cognitive computing system to various sports-based technologies, while Cambridge Consultants developed a sports learning tool that provides its users with an analysis of their motion data.