BI and Tech

Analysing the impact of the Grand Depart

In a little under a year Yorkshire will be hosting the Grand Depart when the Tour de France comes to the region in July 2014. It is estimated that the world famous cycling event will bring in over £100m in economic benefits to the area. Gary Verity, the Chief Executive of organisers Welcome to Yorkshire said that with the growing profile of cycling in the UK, and after the recent success of British riders during the Olympics, the impact could be much greater. He said “It could be double or treble that, who knows?” By analysing historic data from previous races with business intelligence software, the organisers could more accurately predict the effect of such a large sporting event and help stakeholders make more accurate preparations for the 2014 race.

Analysing Tour de France 2007

The last time the UK hosted the Tour de France was in 2007 following the event a significant amount of research was carried out to measure its impact on London. Transport for London (TfL) produced a report which summarised a broad spectrum of research, in essence delivering a text based static business intelligence review. The thirty page document is just one of many reports that were commissioned to analyse the event and the information came from a number of different sources, including local authorities and the police. While the TfL report includes a lot of useful figures in the summary, it is only a high level snapshot of what happened with no ability to interrogate the data. If any organisation involved in the 2014 event wants more detailed information to help them prepare, they cannot easily find the answers without consulting several different organisations and multiple reports. Analysing the data using traditional methods will result in a complex and time consuming process, which some organisations will abandon in favour of estimating a value and hoping for the best.

Headline figures from the 2007 Tour de France include the race generating £73m in London, £15m in Kent, and substantial additional income was generated by other related events. Yorkshire councils have a vested interest in this information, and the underlying detail, as each has contributed a significant sum of money from its budget towards the staging fee. In addition the Treasury has made £10m available and all of these organisations need some reassurance that there will be a return on their investment. Estimated attendance in 2007 was around three million people and the majority travelled to events via public transport. Transport authorities in Yorkshire would greatly benefit from analysing this data so that they could more accurately plan the number of trains, buses, trams and car parking schemes required for the 2014 event.

Analysing Historic Data

If this historic data was available using dashboard software it would allow organisations to drill down on an interactive chart and immediately have access to more detailed information. The first Tour de France was in 1903 and if data from several, or all of the previous 100 editions, was made available it would provide a richer pool of information on which to draw. In turn this would give organisations involved in future races a clearer picture of what to expect. There are also significant time and related cost savings to using a BI dashboard, instead of manually gathering information from several sources. Using technology and reporting software in sport to analyse results, to make better line judgements, to monitor players’ health and performance has become commonplace, but it seems to be lacking to help organisations planning to host and support events in the future.

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