Microsoft Applications as Ultimate Athlete Management System

In the following article, I am discussing Microsoft applications that could be used to create Athlete Management software, such as SharePoint Online, PowerBi and so forth. I believe in the months to come Microsoft will strengthen its position as a Business Intelligence leader and it is definitely a must to get familiar with the new tools.

Microsoft is investing a lot into the business intelligence (BI) field and I am wondering could Microsoft applications be used as Athlete Management System?

I mean, we (Sports Scientists/Coaches/Performance Directors) try to reinvent the wheel – when there are years and years of experience of running, managing, administering teams and creating collaboration in the business world. What softwares are being used to make huge businesses tick, what is being used for KPI dashboards, managing salaries and generally managing business administration? In my opinion we should learn from these fields (business) since they have longer history and already implemented and working solutions.

We already keep running out training (and our databases) in Excel – which is not the best tool to do it, but works fine for smaller teams. Besides, with the new Microsoft applications, such as Office 365, PowerBI, Azure Machine Learning and SharePoint Online maybe that’s what we need really? We are trying to import data from Excel/CSV to AMS solutions and then easily export to Excel/Tableau/SpotFire/R for analysis and dashboarding anyway, so why not skip the middle man and finish all in Microsoft applications?
If big corporations can do it, why can’t we?

Office 365 (for business) might represent a baseline product by Microsoft where one can share documents and collaborate easily. I am talking about common applications such as Word, Excel, Outlook and so forth.

SharePoint Online represent platform that allows you to collaborate and run the organizations easier by creating a websites, search engines and so forth. To be honest I am trying to wrap my head around SharePoint as well.

Project Online represents great tool used by project managers to, well, run projects. Now with the online version it is much easier to collaborate on the project – and please bear in mind, what is Performance Management than a more fancy name than project management? The training program can be seen as project management. Hence, I keep talking that we should learn more from the business world than from secret Russian training books. I might consider getting an MBA as well as PhD 🙂

PowerBIrepresents a new tool that consists of PowerPivot, PowerQuery and PowerView (and just now release PowerBI app) that is used for integrating data from multiple sources, running queries, aggregating and analyzing (using DAX language and PowerPivot) and eventually visualizing and creating interactive dashboards.

Azure Machine Learning is also brand new Microsoft app that allows one to create machine learning algorithms online and easily deploy them and use them. In other words, if we already collected data, we can create algorithms to predict performance or injury and deploy those models in other applications. Microsoft also bought Revolution Analytics and will heavily invest into R and machine learning. Better take some time and learn the basics of R and/or Python and some basics of machine learning. Watch this space in very near future.

On top (or bottom) of these things lie Microsoft SQL Server with it’s Reporting and Analysis Services and that is something that is currently over my head, but might be something to consider getting familiar with.

Anyway, I found to be very helpful with getting familiar with most of the mentioned apps here along with other tools.

My general recommendation is to watch this space, get yourself familiar with R/Python, PowerPivot (DAX) and SQL and generally with new Microsoft Online apps (PowerBI, SharePoint). I still believe that we need specialized software such as SMARTABASEthat can be great middle man surrounded by export/import to Microsoft applications.

In the months/years to come I will probably try to focus more on getting official Microsoft education and licensing to be able to run and manage AMS as Performance Manager using various tools, most notably novel Microsoft BI applications.

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