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Seattle Sounders FC Visualizes Player Data With Tableau

SEATTLE, July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Seattle Sounders FC, the Major League Soccer club based in Seattle, Wash., has found an innovative edge over the competition:  data. The Sounders use Tableau to visualize massive amounts of data generated from wearable technology on its players and systems designed to track their movements and health.
Tableau Software logo www.tableausoftware.com

To measure players' performance and effectiveness, the team collects data on its players sleep patterns, GPS positioning on the field, the speed and distance they run in practice and in games and more.  A team of four, led by performance manager David Tenney, analyzes this data and creates visual reports using Tableau. The Sounders' coaches use these reports to make data-driven decisions about training schedules and regimens, all with the goal of keeping players healthy and at peak performance.

"In the last five years, the power of technology in sports, and wearables in particular, has caught hold," said David Tenney, the Sounders' Sports Science and Performance Manager. "This technology generates a wealth of data on our players, from our preseason practices all the way through our regular season. Our coaches aren't data scientists—but Tableau lets us give them visually clear reports to see how players are performing and make informed decisions about the team."

Sounders players are equipped with multiple data-gathering devices that help Tenney's team track their movements, vital signs, and health. For instance, players wear a harness to track their forward, backward, and sideways motions, while a series of cameras placed around the field track players' positions and automatically generate coordinates on X and Y axes based upon their movements. Tenney's team even tracks players' sleep habits through wristband monitors and run this data through an algorithm that can predict a player's reaction time.

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