Leeds Beckett University
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Enhancing data to evidence transitions required for player management decision-making processes: a case study in professional rugby union

posted on 2024-01-11, 15:12 authored by Jayamini Susankalpana RanaweeraJayamini Susankalpana Ranaweera
Based on a sport informatics approach, this thesis aimed to digitally optimise data to evidence transitions occurring within player management decision-making processes in a professional rugby union environment. With the objective of translating the findings to sport, the first study systematically reviewed the use of Business Process Management (BPM) for improving patient management processes in healthcare. Consequently, from the results, guidelines for using BPM to optimise data-informed player management processes were proposed. Thereafter, by using the first three stages of a BPM lifecycle (process identification, discovery and redesign), the next study utilised those prior findings to identify issues existing in the current state of an information flow pertaining to player management decision-making processes within a Gallagher Premiership rugby union club in England. The results indicated that there was inaccessible data, unavailable data, unavailable information, information noise, incomplete decisions and no consensus for flagging players with risks. In the next experimental study, directed by the remaining three phases of the BPM lifecycle (process redesign, implementation and monitoring) and by applying innovation and design thinking approaches, a pre-post-test study design was used to examine if the inaccessibility of daily player strength and conditioning data can be optimised through digitalisation techniques. The outcomes indicated that the designed digital systems enhanced information quality, thereby, signifying an improved data to information transition. The fourth study employed consensus methods to organise practitioner judgements when flagging players with risks. Specifically, by using the expertise within the considered environment, a consensus statement, as a subjective standard was formulated to standardise judgements on the existence of peaks/troughs in external training loads experienced by the players, identified from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) based information. The final experimental study implemented the developed standard via digitalisation techniques and evaluated the impact of it on practitioner decision-making, by detecting the change in reliability of agreement between staff for a given decision at four time points before and after implementing the standard. The outcomes signified that practitioner agreement increased from moderate pre-standard levels to almost perfect post-standard agreement. Thus, signifying an enhanced information to evidence transition. Overall, this thesis provides a philosophical and methodological approach to optimising data-informed player management decision-making processes in professional sport environments like rugby union.


Qualification name

  • PhD


Roe, Gregory ; Weaving, Dan

Awarding Institution

Leeds Beckett University

Completion Date


Qualification level

  • Doctoral


  • eng


Leeds Beckett University

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