Data and horse racing

By |2018-06-11T12:11:36+00:00June 11th, 2018|Data Analytics|0 Comments

So today I am tasked with writing a blog, the sun is shining and whilst I love my job part of me if yearning to be out in the fresh air riding my new horse… so it dawned on me why not bring together my two passions horses and helping people… stay with me there is a link!!

Every evening after work I grab my horses tack and think about what we will focus on tonight, shall we go for a hack, maybe a canter round the field or shall we focus on our dressage skills (my husband thinks I am quite far off being the next Charlotte Dujardin but there is hope for me yet) The yard opposite us is a racing yard and every morning they are up and out riding at 6am come rain or shine riding 6 or 7 horses a day to drive their competitive edge and improve physical fitness for the next race. It made me think about racing and how perhaps more than other sports it is an industry built on data.

Each year huge amounts of data is generated about time, distance, odds, jockeys, trainers, weights but how is all of this data helping both the trainers and the people betting on the races? Then I wondered how is a horses handicap calculated and what does it actually mean?

British Horse Racing sums it up beautifully “the essence of handicapping is a well-tried proposition that the weight a horse carries ultimately affects the speed at which it can gallop. A handicap is a race where each horse is set to carry a weight, allocated according to the horse’s ability, in an attempt to equalise every horse’s chance of winning.” The number of factors and variables taken into consideration are quite exhausting:

  • The weight the horse carried
  • The race distance
  • The ground
  • The draw
  • The finishing margins between the runners
  • The pace
  • The current form
  • Any incidents that occurred

 When I think about how long handicaps have been used and how much this sport relies on data to drive the industry I really struggled to think of another sector that really took data that seriously and wondered why? Yes other sectors are as passionate with getting results, they still have the same objectives of making more money, saving more money, making decisions faster so why aren’t they making the most of the information that is right in front of them?

I honestly think it all comes down to where do you start… organisations have so much raw data that they don’t know what to do with it, and are reluctant to create another chart to show them what they already have in a spreadsheet which is where we can help and my second passion kicks in.

We want to help you to make a difference with the data you have, not just making it look pretty actually understand what the data means to you, ask “so what” to each question and really get under the skin of the data you have at your hands and give you the ability to really understand its impact and help you to drive change.

Fun/ Scary fact “Over 90% of all the data in world was created in the past 2 years” what are you doing with yours?

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