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Accenture helped the UK Royal Yachting Association (RYA) use analytics to develop improved race strategies, which may increase the chance of winning by up to 60 percent. The British Sailing Team exceeded its medal targets in the London Olympics, aided by the ability to better analyse performance.
International sailing is becoming increasingly competitive, and therefore, the RYA and Skandia Team GBR were looking for new opportunities to enhance race performance. One such potential area was analytics. The RYA had collated information related to thousands of races and competitors and wanted to understand whether it could better transform these statistics into race winning insights.
Skandia Team GBR had gathered detailed match racing data from more than 2,000 races over 18 months. This included a breadth of information about the venues, conditions, sailor experiences, intra-race statistics and final positions.
The Accenture team used an advanced analytics approach to gain critical insights from this information by:
The analysis assisted to predict the key winning factors driving race outcome. These insights were then broken down to understand their relative importance at each stage of the race and in different race conditions. Hence, the analysis helped the RYA better understand and focus on the factors that are most likely to influence race outcomes.
In addition, a detailed understanding of the competition was developed that helped identify the teams most likely to be tough competitors, the strategy their competitors are most likely to deploy during specific race scenarios and their relative strengths and weaknesses as compared to the GBR team’s.
Accenture worked with the RYA and Skandia Team GBR to incorporate these insights to develop analytics-enabled strategies for individual races. This included identifying the appropriate mitigation strategies if Skandia Team GBR were trailing to specific competitors at any part of the race.
Applying the strategies developed as part of this work increased Skandia Team GBR’s chances of winning any individual race by up to 60 percent. The insights and strategies continue to be deployed by the RYA and are contributing to Skandia Team GBR’s ongoing success.
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