Shine a Light with Data Patterns

By Duncan Ritchie

13-May-2020 on Tips

6 minute read

Ask any coach or video analyst what they would add to their arsenal of analytical tools and you’re likely to get the same answer over and over again: more time and more data.


Especially in professional spheres, where matches are played within a few days of each other and analysts must optimise their time in order to get the maximum possible out of their analyses.


We’re not telling you anything new here but it’s precisely because we understand this situation that we developed a tool which could save you time and, in addition, help you get deep down into their analysis without spending hours and hours on observation.


This tool was released with Nacsport v.4.1.0 and its called Data Patterns, available for all pro users working with Nacsport Elite.

What's the difference between Nacsport Pro+ and Elite? Click here to find out.


What Are Data Patterns?


It may sound a little complicated at the outset, but it’s really quite simple. Let’s try and explain.


During a game or a match, you can set a sequence of actions which are constantly repeated.


For example, in football, we may see a repeated play where every time the right back plays a long ball up the wing, it results in a cross met by the head of the striker. If this is repeated several times during a match, we’ve discovered a pattern.


Applied to basketball, we may see a play ending in a three-pointer thrown from the corner when the point guard plays with the high post. If this move is repeated often enough, again we’ve established a pattern.


As an analyst, you’ll know that finding these patterns reveals invaluable information about your own team or about the tactics of an opponent.


Now, imagine a tool which can automatically detect these patterns during a game. Let’s go farther…imagine you can “educate” your video analysis software so that it reveals info about these patterns that you hadn’t previously thought of.


Sounds too good to be true, eh?


What if we told you that this very tool has been around for a long time and you’ve had it at your fingertips without even realising it or knowing how it works?


Well, don’t worry, we’re going to explain the Data Patterns tool for you right now and try to resolve any doubts you might have. That’s why you’re reading this, right?


Heatmaps and Movement Maps. Find out about more Elite level tools here. 


How Does the Tool Work?


We’ve already given you two basic examples of data patterns but there are more…many more.


Using the tool is simple. Open it in Nacsport, define your parametres and the program takes care of the rest. Parametres you can define include:


  1. The minimum number of times a pattern must repeat in order to be regarded as relevant.
  2. The number of descriptors that must be involved.
  3. Only show patterns which do or don’t contain a specific category or descriptor.
  4. Show patterns which appear before or after a specific category, defined by you.


To clarify, you can configure the program in such a way that it detects patterns involving more than five descriptors which are repeated at least six times after an inbound throw in basketball or during a counter-attack from defense in football.



Let the Tool Work for You


We’re sure all of this has piqued your interest…but there’s more.


The tools is programmed in such a way that once you’ve established the patterns relevant to your analyses, it will automatically perform the pattern search within your chosen parametres for every subsequent analysis you perform.


This means that every time you open the timeline for a new analysis after finishing the observation stage, you will see a window that will tell you if any of the previously saved patterns occurred in the match you just tagged.


So, you don’t even have to open the tool to program the parametres again. The program will show you these actions automatically, saving you a lot of time and providing you with extensive data.


You simply have to check if the results are relevant for you…or irrelevant, because this tool also works the other way round. To prevent “noise” from sneaking in between the results and to achieve as accurate a filtering as possible, you can mark a pattern as irrelevant and the program will not show it from then on.


Data Patterns can also be combined with data obtained from external providers and thus make the job even easier.


Nacsport Data Patterns


An Invaluable Resource


Ok, we know this is a new tool for you that may take some time getting used to, but we believe once you are acquainted with it, you’ll never let it go.


We’ve had many conversations with coaches round the world who tell us that detecting patterns in play with this tool has been invaluable to them.


We’re sure you’re champing at the bit to get Nacsport opened and get to work with Data Patterns so we’ll let you go and discover all the advantages for yourself.


As always, if you have any questions about using this tool, or anything else Nacsport related, we’re always at your service on our social media channels or by email at


Find out more about Nacsport Elite and request a FREE trial here.

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