Kate Burke, the Lead Pathway Analyst at the Rugby Football Union [RFU], agrees that the data analyst is a storyteller, but believes that the idea goes further.

“We’re telling data-supported stories but it’s also data-supported feel,” she tells the Leaders Performance Institute.

“In a presentation, how do you make sure that the data wanted by the coach stands out? We do a lot of work around making presentations look good. We ask ourselves how, if we’re giving a coach one slide of information, we can ensure their eyes are immediately drawn to it? It’s similar with players. There’s lots of tools now where you can draw people’s eyes to what they need to see. Especially when you do review meetings with players, you’ll show a 30-second video clip and I’ll say pretty much every player in that room will be looking at something different because it’s relative to how they see the game, what they’re doing for their position, how they’re trying to see it. So the use of drawing tools on video or arrows means that everyone’s eyes are drawn to the same place. Then everyone’s looking at the same thing.”

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