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KINTalk: Combining data and expert opinion in elite sport

26 April 2024
Agaath Doeleman, a Data Analyst at NOC*NSF/TeamNL unveiled how data and expert opinion could be combined in high-stakes decisions such as Olympic selection processes.

Anticipation filled the KIN Center for Digital Innovation on April 19, 2024, as everyone gathered for a KINTalk, featuring Agaath Doeleman, a true champion of shaping data-driven decision-making. 

Agaath kicked off her presentation by immersing the audience in the Dutch sporting landscape. She explained the diverse objectives and methodologies behind athlete selection for high-stakes events like the Olympics. Then she walked the audience through how such selection processes can unfold, taking cues from the approach used at the Dutch Judo Federation. What is the most important step in developing a plan to incorporate data and expert opinion? According to Agaath, it is defining clear goals for selection policies. In the case of elite sports organizations, they can range from building trust with athletes to being the number one nation in a specific sport. 

To wrap up the talk, Agaath outlined additional areas where her organization is now integrating data and expert opinion into their decision-making, inspired by her research project.

We concluded with a dynamic Q&A session that seamlessly transitioned into a networking hour, where we exchanged ideas — accompanied by drinks and snacks because even the most intense sports discussions need a bit of refuelling!

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