The University of Illinois athletics department recently hosted a first-of-its-kind colloquium with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). The inaugural event, titled Visualization and Data Analysis in Collegiate Athletics, was held Feb. 22, 2019, and discussed big data in college sports.
Speakers included athletics director Josh Whitman, football defensive analyst Kingsley Osei-Asibey, head women’s soccer coach Janet Rayfield, associate athletic director Nick Rogers, and NCSA’s Rob Sisneros.
Whitman highlighted the technological advancements currently being used by the university and the expanding role of data in developing a successful athletics program. Some of these technologies included the development of a virtual reality platform for the football team, the analytic program FlightScope for the baseball team and ShotTracker in the basketball facility and a similar system called PlaySight for the tennis facility.
“Shortly after I started here I was contacted by Scott Wilkin and he was really the first one to open our eyes to the idea of a partnership with the NSCA and it’s been fun to see how that seed has germinated and really taken root and grown here over the last number of years,” said Whitman, “As we look at how data has exploded into every corner of our industry certainly in college athletics…it is pretty amazing the things that are happening even in just the last 12 or 15 months here within the athletics program at the university.”