Everything You Need to Know: The Nacsport Data Matrix

By Duncan Ritchie

25-November-2021 on Tips

15 minute read

If you are a Nacsport user who utilises Basic+, Scout, Pro or Elite then you are probably already well aware of what the Data Matrix is and what it does. But that doesn’t mean that you’re getting the best out of it.


There may well be a few features of the Data Matrix that you are currently unaware of, and, who knows, these could completely change your workflows and allow you to get a deeper analysis.


In this article, we’ll give a thorough overview of the Data Matrix environment and dig deeper into some of the more advanced features of this powerful tool.



1. What Is the Data Matrix?

     1.1. Categories and Descriptors

     1.2. Categories and Descriptors in the Data Matrix

2. Multiple Matrix

3. Descriptor Combinations in the Matrix

4. Custom Matrix

5. Submatrix

6. Dynamic Matrix

7. Data Matrix in the Presentations Environment

8. Export Data Matrix to Excel

9. Conclusion


nacsport data matrix basketball


What Is the Data Matrix?


To understand what the Data Matrix is and what it does, you must first understand what categories and descriptors are when analysing with Nacsport.


Categories and Descriptors


As you probably already know, your analysis work begins with the observation phase. This is when you watch a game, either live in real time or through a prerecorded video, and “tag” actions which happen during the game using a button template. 


The actions you want to observe may be things such as “Shots”, “Transitions”, “Attacks”, “Saves”, or anything else which may be important to your analysis work. These actions are categories, and each one will have a separate button on your template. 


But you’ll probably also want to define these actions too, right? So, you have buttons which describe your main actions. For example, “Good”, “1st Half”, “Opposition”, “Opponents Half”, or any other number of descriptions. These tell you more about the nature of the main action, where and when they happened, and who did them. These are your descriptors.


nacsport data matrix field hockey


So, when you observe a match, you press these buttons in sequence. For example, you might press “Goal”, “2nd Half”, “Player 5”, “Good”. First of all, this creates a short video clip of the goal itself, but also registers the description of the goal in the database.


To read more about the categories and descriptors and their importance to video analysis, please check out this article and also this one.


So, what does this have to do with the Data Matrix?


Categories and Descriptors in the Data Matrix


Ok, so you’ve observed your match, you’ve completed all your tags, and you want to review your actions, so now what? Well, from the timeline open the Data Matrix and let’s take a look at it. Press that little button in the toolbar which looks a bit like a telephone keypad with the zero. Yep, the 3x3 group of squares.


When the Data Matrix opens, you’ll see exactly what it does. From top to bottom, you’ll see the rows which contain your categories and, from left to right, the columns containing your descriptors . Where these columns and rows intersect, you’ll find the corresponding actions.


For example, want to see all the “Shots On Target” by “Player 9”? Find “Shots On Target” on the left of the matrix and move across the row until you reach the “Player 9” column. You’ll see a numerical value which tells you how many shots player 9 had on target. Click this number and you’ll open all the video clips containing this category and descriptor.


So, yeah, the Data Matrix is a powerful tool for organising your data, giving you at-a-glance numerical data which is essential for your work. It can also be used as a search tool that helps you to find your tagged actions extremely quickly.


In this regard, it’s quite similar to the data visualisation tools available in the dashboard where, instead of numerical data, you have the data laid out in graphs and charts. Again, clicking these graphs and charts opens the relevant videos. The search tool in Pro and Elite works in a similar manner too.


But we’re not here to talk about dashboards or search tools! For more info on these check out this article, and for a quick comparison, check out this short video from Bradley at AnalysisPro.



No, we’re here to talk about the Data Matrix, so let’s carry on with some more advanced features.


Multiple Matrix


It’s possible to open a Data Matrix containing all the data from multiple games. In fact, with Scout, Pro and Elite you can open as many as you like.


So, how does this work? Simply select the matches you want to analyse together from the “My Analysis” section in the main menu and, once the timeline has opened, click the Data Matrix button, select the matches you want to include, and then you’ll be able to see all your data together.


The Multiple Matrix works in exactly the same way as the Data Matrix, it just contains more data. You can view clips, add clips and export your data as normal (we’ll cover this later in the article. Check out this video:



Descriptor Combinations in the Matrix


Here’s an extremely powerful tool which is only available in our flagship product. Elite allows you to filter actions in many unique ways. For example, you can create a new descriptor from a combination of two or more descriptors. This adds a new column to the matrix containing all of these tags.


For example, perhaps you want to see all the actions completed by both forwards together in the 2nd half. Open the matrix, hold the “Alt” key and select “2nd Half”, “Player 10” and “Player 11”, click on the tick icon, and the new descriptor will be created containing only those actions where both players were involved.


When you do this, you’ll see that a small box in the top left of the Data Matrix has opened containing our chosen descriptors it will look like this:


2nd Half AND Player 10 AND Player 11


Clicking on the “AND” will change this word to “NOT”, and clicking on “NOT” will change it to “OR”.


From here you can make combinations of descriptors which contain these states. Want to see 2nd half actions which involve player 10 but not player 11?


2nd Half AND Player 10 NOT Player 11


What about second half actions which involve both players, but not necessarily together?


2nd Half AND Player 10 OR Player 11


This is an extremely powerful tool which allows you to filter the data in any way you want. Check out the video for more info:



Custom Matrix


The Custom Matrix is available in Nacsport Pro and Elite and, again, serves as an efficient way to organise and filter your categories and descriptors.


So, how does it work?


Well, simply click on the Data Matrix icon and choose the “Custom Matrix” option. From here, you simply choose the categories and descriptors you want to display (these can be from a single game or over multiple games), save the structure and open a Data Matrix showing just the information you want to see.


This gives you full control over how you see your collected data. Check this video for a quick tutorial:





The Submatrix is another tool which is available exclusively in Nacsport Pro and Elite.


Similar to the Custom Matrix, the Submatrix allows you to customise an existing matrix however you want it. You can add categories or descriptors to either the X axis (columns) or Y axis (rows).


By doing this, you can see the relationships between any descriptor and category.


When done, you can save the matrix structure and use it for subsequent analysis. Very useful.



Dynamic Matrix


The Dynamic Matrix allows you to filter your categories and descriptors in relation to a specific time period in the game. 


For example, if you want to see all the actions for the time period between the 30th and 45th minute of the match, click the clock icon in the Data Matrix window and simply adjust the time bar to see this info.


This tool is extremely easy to use and is available in Scout, Pro, and Elite.



Data Matrix in the Presentation Environment


So far, we’ve only spoken about using the Data Matrix in the timeline environment, but it is also available in the Presentations environment.


Once you have a list of clips compiled, simply click on the Data Matrix icon and you will be presented with a matrix which shows the data for only those clips.


Again, this is available in Scout, Pro and Elite and is an extremely useful tool for organising your presentations.


Export Data Matrix to Excel


The final function of the Data Matrix that we’d like to talk about today is exporting your data to Excel.


This is useful if you want your data in a format that can be used in third party apps or programs.


Again, the process is very easy. Whilst in the Data Matrix, click the folder icon to export your data. There are two options for exporting to Excel: “Export to Excel” and “Export to Excel Including Empty Values”. The first option will not include the rows and columns which have the value zero attached. The second will include all your data, including zero values.


This feature is available in Basic+, Scout, Pro, and Elite.


The following video will give you an overview of the whole Data Matrix, and you can see the export options near the end.





So, there you have it, an overview of all the basic and advanced tools available in the Nacsport Data Matrix. As you can see, this is a fantastic tool for organising your analysis and diving deep into your data.


If you have any questions about the Data Matrix, or any other feature of Nacsport, please feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.


If you’re not yet a Nacsport user and would like to give it a try, we offer a completely free no-obligation trial of any of our products. Click here to get started.


Finally, why not join us over on Twitter where we share daily video analysis news, hints and features.


Until then, thanks for reading!

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