For the NFL and industry, real-time data is a game changer

Smarter statistics are gaining ground in the NFL.
Smarter statistics are gaining ground in the NFL.
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For the cutting edge of data analytics, no need to look further than your favorite Sunday pastime: professional football teams are now using sensor technology to track current and prospective players.

The NFL draft season is here and that means teams are crunching prospects’ numbers. Technology is taking a lot of the guesswork out of player evaluation as tracking sensors allow coaches to review data on players’ every move. One company, Zebra Technologies has developed RFID tags which, when placed under players’ shoulder pads, track real-time location coordinates on players to within a few inches. These coordinates are then sent to Zebra’s software which turns x’s and o’s into data faster than a football play happens.

Real-time player stats across devices.
Real-time player stats across devices.

By examining players’ speed, distance, and acceleration, scouts now have unprecedented specificity, which they can use to evaluate prospects and improve the performance of their teams. And this information doesn’t just benefit coaches and scouts: fans now have endless opportunities to measure the success of their favorite players and teams. Whether live at a stadium or watching on TV, football fans get a detailed experience of the NFL game with real-time stats and overlays.

The official on-field player tracking provider of the National Football League.
The official on-field player tracking provider of the National Football League.

Scrutinizing the x’s and o’s for industry

When applied to industry, the transformative potential of big data is, well, exactly that: big. According to IDC, there will be over 44 zettabytes of stored data by 2020, 10% of which will come from the Internet of Things.

The same way coaches are weighing metrics to maximize team success, companies in industries such as manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, and healthcare are tapping the power of data to boost their own performance.

For manufacturers, better performance means leveraging IoT connectivity to precisely track inventory throughout the supply chain. This can help streamline processes, shaving time off of packing and distribution and eliminating delivery errors. Similarly, data is helping transportation and logistics companies manage yard and terminal traffic—down to the percentage of unused space in each truck. And for retailers, today’s mobile-first customers demand inventory visibility: in an era when shoppers want to buy from any place at any time, product availability information is crucial.

In what is arguably among the most important examples of user experience, data can bring dramatic improvements to patients within the healthcare setting. Analytics solutions link patients with the correct medications, lab results, doctors, and caretakers, reducing the potential for error and improving patient outcomes.

Zebra’s unique hardware, software, analytics, and services help companies optimize their use of data to improve efficiency. With the tools needed to build a more intelligent enterprise, Zebra is helping executives stay ahead of the game with real-time visibility that’s visionary.

Learn how Zebra’s visibility-based solutions can transform your business.

This article was produced on behalf of Zebra Technologies by Quartz Creative and not by the Quartz editorial staff.