7 Tips for Sports Data Collection

By Duncan Ritchie

22-October-2020 on Tips

11 minute read

What would an analysis be without data? Well...nothing, of course! 


Data is the goal and the more data you get, the more in depth your analysis will be. In this article we talk you through seven ways to collect data from a match, either generated by you or obtained from other sources, in order to analyse it with Nacsport.


What Is a Register?


Before we start, we’d like to explain the term “register”, which we’ll be using often throughout this article. At Nacsport, “register” is the term we use to mean clicking buttons in the template to document a play.


Some of you may use the terms “marking”, “coding” or “tagging” a match but we use “registering”. 


So, a “register” contains a category, perhaps combined with several descriptors, and a video linked to the action.


Register from File (Retrospectively)


Obtain Data with Nacsport 1



This is probably the most common way of analysing a match amongst our users. It consists of registering the game retrospectively from a video file (hence the name). This is usually done on the same day as the game, once we get home or back to the office, or within a couple of days.


Of course, to be able to do this you need a video of the match! We assume that you have recorded it yourself or have another source of video, i.e. a television feed.


Film and Register in Real Time


Obtaining Data with Nacsport 2



This is another of the most common ways of registering data, although it requires an additional piece of hardware: a video capture device.


This device connects your camera directly to your computer and allows you to film and stream the images directly into Nacsport. With the program open, you can register whilst the game is played out in front of you, live.


The great advantage of this system is that, when the game is over, your registrations are already made and you don’t have to rewatch the game to do your analysis. In addition, with a little practice, you can give your team instant analytical feedback about the game during half-times or breaks in play.


However, there are a couple of possible drawbacks. Firstly, you need to be fully concentrated on the game in order to analyse it well, which means someone else has to operate the camera, and secondly, the equipment can be quite bulky, which can make transportation, assembly and packing up a little inconvenient.


Film and Register with Tag & view


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Nacsport Tag&view is a mobile app which allows you to film and register directly from your iPad or iPhone. You can create a button template specifically for Tag&view or import a pre-made one from your Nacsport desktop and use this to register from your tablet or mobile.


Additionally, it’s possible to use the device’s built in camera to film the game, saving you from having to transport heavy equipment such as cameras and computers. With your iOS device, you have everything you need at your fingertips. At the end of the match, simply send the registers and video to your desktop and open them with Nacsport for analysis.


There are some users who prefer to use an external camera and use the app for registering actions only. It’s up to you to decide what you find easier.

20 Questions About Tag&view Answered


Registering without Video Source


What if you don’t have a video camera but will have access to recording of the match at a later time? Maybe someone else is filming the match and have promised to pass you the video at a later time? Do you have to wait until you receive the video to start your analysis work? Not at all! You can register without a video source.



Register the match with your button template as it plays out live in front of you and sync the video to your tags after you receive it.


But listen, before you get too excited, it should be noted that this option is only available from Scout+ onwards. If you’re using Basic or Basic+, maybe it’s time to start thinking about an upgrade?


Share Data and Videos in Real Time


Obtaining Data with Nacsport 3 


In all the options we’ve looked at so far, you register the match to obtain data for analysis after the fact. But there are users who want to register and analyse at the same time in order to make game changing decisions on the fly whilst the game is still being played.


From Basic+ onwards, you can share elements of your work with other devices, such as laptops, tablets and mobiles, which are connected to your computer through the same network. In fact, the first step is just that, connecting all devices to the same network.


Basic+ allows you to send your Dashboard while with Scout+ you can also share videos. Pro+ and Elite let you share any illustrations you’ve added to your videos.


Coach Station


Obtaining Data with Nacsport 4



Nacsport Coach Station allows you to transform your program into a real-time data receiver and receive live information from a Pro+ or Elite. Imagine an analyst sitting in the stadium sending data and videos to the coach on the bench in real time and the tactical benefits this could yield. 


As in the previous case, both devices have to be connected in the same local network. You will have access to all the video that is broadcast from the main computer, and not to specific registers, like with real-time sharing. This means you can navigate to any moment in the match, even if it hasn’t been registered.


In addition, Coach Station provides each user with a personalised Dashboard containing information which is pertinent to them, not just that which is sent by the analyst.


And best of all? When the match is over, you will be able to use Coach Station as another license, since it is used exclusively for real-time analysis.


Capturing Video from YouTube


From Basic+ onwards, you have the option of streaming video directly from YouTube. This option means that you don’t have to actually be present at the match to analyse it, if the game is being broadcast to this platform.



The YouTube feed streams directly into Nacsport and you can make your registrations as normal. You can save travelling time and choose the most comfortable place for your analysis by using this option.


Importing Information from Third Party Data Providers


Nacsport and InStat


The last way of obtaining match data is the easiest and the only one in this list in which you don’t do the registering. Data providers do the work for you. Although this tends to mean that you don’t have the same level of control over your analysis, it is a great time saver.


One of the world’s most well-known data providers is InStat, specialising in football, basketball and ice-hockey. The biggest drawback to using a service like this is that the downloaded data is standardised and anyone and everyone can get the same info.


Personalise it with Nacsport. Download the data and import it into Nacsport, using our powerful filtering tools to get the data you are interested in. Go a step further and add your own registers to obtain a data set which is unique to you and your team. To get a really in-depth analysis, you will have to do your own registration work.

If you are a Nacsport user and would like to start working with InStat, you’re in luck. We have a special agreement with them that allows our users to contract their services at a very special price. Click here for more info!


So there you have it, 7 tips for improving your data collection with Nacsport. We hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have any questions about the content of this article, email us at media@nacsport.com and we'll be happy to answer your questions.

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