BI for Sportbusiness – an example of DFB

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A guest article by Managing Partner Marcel Cordes

As in the old days of gold diggers, it takes a lot of energy and sweat to bring the real treasure to light today. Business Intelligence (BI) stands for all processes that support data-driven decision-making in companies and build up stakeholder-oriented reporting systems across the board. The German Football Association (DFB) is consistently pursuing this path, with the conceptual support of the consulting services from SPORTHEADS.

Of course, the days are gone when extensive folders from external service providers filled shelves. Even the storage of PDF and Excel files and digital access to portals has not really eliminated the actual problem in sports companies. Relevant information to support business decisions is fed from various sources, whose research, analysis, and transfer to reporting systems takes a lot of time and ties up significant resources.

BI is a technology-driven process for the systematic analysis of data from various sources and the presentation of usable information. However, BI encompasses much more than just selecting and using a data visualization tool - business analytics, data mining, and especially the data and IT infrastructure are mandatory in the BI process. In addition, external suppliers must also be involved to ensure structured access to raw data.

One and a half year ago Jan Kremer, Head of Business Intelligence at DFB GmbH, and his team initiated the BI process for the marketing department, with conceptually support by the consulting agency SPORTHEADS. Based on the reporting requirements of internal and external stakeholders and the multitude of different data sources, a consistent KPI set was developed, which serves as a basic framework and requirement catalogue. "The divergent methodologies in the analysis and evaluation of digital touchpoints still pose a particular challenge," explains Jan Kremer, who also supports the corresponding working group in the VSA.

"The goal of the BI project is the consolidation of all marketing-relevant information from market and media research, own and third-party platforms, social media, and game data for timely, standardized, and interactive reporting to our stakeholders," says Jan Kremer.

Marcel Cordes, Managing Partner of SPORTHEADS, adds: "The decision for a BI tool to display and visualize data must be made on the basis of a structured analysis of the requirements profile. Competing tools on the market, such as Microsoft Power BI, Google Data Studio, or Tableau offer comprehensive functionalities, but also advantages and disadvantages. A consistent BI implementation is ultimately a question of strategy, infrastructure, and resources, that must be set up and implemented in close collaboration with the IT department.”