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OR59 - Plenary Speakers

Bill Gerrard

Winning with Analytics: Using Data Analysis as an Evidence-Based Approach to Decision Making in Elite Sport.

The use of data analysis to gain a competitive advantage in elite sport has been popularised by Michael Lewis’s best-selling book and Oscar-nominated movie, Moneyball. Focusing on player recruitment decisions, Moneyball recounts how the budget-constrained Oakland A’s in Major League Baseball used superior statistical predictors to identify undervalued players. Drawing on his experiences as a data analyst in football, rugby and cycling, Dr Bill Gerrard will show how data analytics in elite sport is now being used to support a wide range of coaching decisions beyond player recruitment including team selection, game tactics, opposition analysis, and planning training sessions.

One of the recent areas of development in data analytics in team sports is the analysis of spatial data. Controlling territory even more than dominating possession is critical to success in the invasion team sports such as the football and rugby. Increasingly commercial data providers are supplying teams with their detailed coding of matches including the x,y coordinates of every match event but often little use is made of this spatial data beyond some zonal analysis. Bill will look at a number of developments in spatial analytics, many of which have emerged in basketball analytics and will argue that they can offer real opportunities to gain a competitive edge over rival teams less wedded to the analytical approach.

Short biography

Dr Bill Gerrard holds degrees in Economics from the University of Aberdeen, Trinity College, Cambridge and the University of York. He is currently Professor of Business and Sports Analytics at Leeds University Business School. Over the last 20 years Bill has developed the use of statistical analysis within an evidence-based approach to coaching in a variety of sports including football, rugby league and rugby union. He worked as the technical analyst at Saracens between 2010 and 2015 since when he has worked as a Data Analyst for AZ Alkmaar in Dutch football. Bill has also provided statistical analysis for the Sky Sports coverage of Super League as well as working with various UK football clubs, an Australian rugby league team, a South African rugby union team, Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s ownership group and British Olympic Cycling. Bill holds the UEFA B football coaching licence. He has acted as an expert witness in several sports legal cases.

Sarah Gates

Appropriate use of data in government

Sarah will discuss the Cabinet Office’s work to promote good practice and develop frameworks for appropriate and ethical data use in government. This work includes ongoing engagement to update the Data Science Ethical Framework, originally published in May 2016.


Short biography

Sarah works as a policy advisor in the UK Cabinet Office Government Digital Service. Working in the data governance team, Sarah has been involved in developing data policy for government over the last year. The team focus on the appropriate use of data and the communication of government's management and use of data. This work addresses a range of complex issues spanning privacy, algorithmic transparency, anonymisation, and legislation. Prior to joining the Cabinet Office, Sarah worked as an intern supporting the development of the related data governance project with the Royal Society and British Academy.

Simon Weldon

Organising to Deliver:  Implementing the Next Steps of the Five Year Forward View

NHS England on 31 March 2017 published; ‘Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’, setting out steps for the NHS to deliver a more joined up and responsive health service to  deliver practical improvements in areas prized by patients and the public, such as cancer, urgent and emergency care, mental health and GP access.  The ambition is to transform the way that care is delivered and ease pressure on hospitals by helping frail and older people live healthier, more independent lives whist also put the service on a more sustainable footing for the future.  Simon Weldon will set out the planned mechanisms by which we deliver and measure these changes, taking what we have learned from the Vanguards, and the models of care that could be provided in the future, defining the actions required at local and national level to support delivery.  He will also describe the role which the ACSs and STPs will play in developing and accelerating the delivery of the FYFV programme.

Short biography

Simon Weldon: Director of Operations and Delivery NHS England
Simon Weldon has 20 years of NHS experience, both working with providers and commissioners, leading on the implementation of the NHS plan. Currently Simon is Director of Operations and Delivery for NHS England and the Lead for operational delivery and oversight of key national transformation programmes including; non-elective, elective, primary care, mental health, cancer and Rightcare.  Simon is also responsible for planning and CCG regulation and leadership of the national EPRR team.  Prior to this position, Simon was Chief Operating Officer for London for four and a half years leading teams on operational delivery both regionally and nationally, as well as NHS England’s commissioning functions including specialised commissioning.