Here are couple of ideas/random thoughts to make Athlete Management Software (e.g SMARTABASE, EDGE10) better.
AMS should be simple as possible. If one can’t use it, if it takes too much time to learn it, or it is not intuitive, then what’s the point? Bragging on how much you paid for it?
AMS, as Carl Valle says, should be like Garage Band. Like Microsoft Word for coaches. Something that will change Excel use – the data should be clearly visible/transparent, easily accessible, modifiable, editable, importable and exportable. Data clarity.
Everything should be drag and drop. Like object that user can manipulate, move around. Why? Because it feels ‘human’ and intuitive to do so. Like a white board. Cut/Copy/Paste/Move. Easily create sessions/workouts, plans and calendars. Easily tag drills and provide reports (e.g. how much did we spent on transition drills last week?). This can be implicit tagging in the session builder, and it can be ‘text mining’ where one pulls out from drill description. Create an easy way to classify drills (using machine learning algorithms) by using data collected during those (GPS, coach rating, tags)
Imagine having player cards on a white board that you can manipulate. You turn them and you get precise information/dashboard (KPIs). On the main side you get quick and simple indicators, like available or not. Or any other important warning. Do not push too much information on users. Limit information overload. Information should be there if needed, but it shouldn’t be visualized/showed by default.
Complex interface looks like this…
How interface should look like…
Think of Trello. I made a simple project management for the coaching staff using Trello, where each card was a player.
And please read a book on Dashboards and Data Visualization by Stephen Few. I don’t want to see pie charts and spider webs anymore.
AMS should be easily expanded to a Smart Board. Turn to business solutions – they already did this. There can be “Smartboard” role/account that shows only the most important data on the big board/screen. It would be very cool if coaches can use smart boards to interact with AMS – create sessions, do the analysis, perform exploratory data visualization and interact with data. And all of this without the mouse. And easily to save the ‘brainstorming’, instead of taking pictures of the white board with your smart phones (yes, we all do this). One such a board can be placed in staff room, board room and player’s room (or dressing room).
We all know we have old farts in the clubs that refuse to use technology. We can’t wait for them to die (this is a joke btw). We need to think about the solution for them to still use paper, but in a way that we get digitalized data.
Imagine your old PT needs to perform movement screen and rate a bunch of stuff. Something like this:
Yeah, I know this ‘data form’ can be filled on your iPad, but some of those old farts might refuse to use it. They still prefer paper. But they are lazy to ‘re-type’ everything into AMS using their account login. It also might cause errors. What to do?
The solution might be to scan it. Like they do with Evernote ScanSnap.
Easy – our old PT fill this form, or any other report (daily report, return to play protocol), scan it (where scanner is connected to their AMS login through API), software does OCR (machine learning can “learn” old fart’s handwriting) and you get digitalized data. Eventually these dinosaurs will be extinct and technology freaks will take their place. Eventually.
I have shared some of my thoughts. Creating AMS that is both affordable and easy to use is multi million dollar business. Don’t limit yourself to High-Performance teams/clubs – even high-school, CrossFit gyms (yes to WOD notifications!), regular gyms, personal trainers need a simple way to integrate all their data at one spot, easily collect data from their athlete and communicate with them.
I am as always available for collaboration on such a project.