10 Inspiring Ideas for Great Nacsport Dashboards

By Duncan Ritchie

03-September-2020 on Tips

12 minute read

The Nacsport Dashboard is one of the most popular features in our software. Coaches and analysts everywhere tell us that they love how easy it is design and create a fully functional, visually appealing Dashboard. In fact, earlier this year, when we asked some expert analysts why they changed from Hudl Sportscode to Nacsport, Dashboards were the #1 reason (amongst many others)!


The Dashboard is a great way to share your analysis data in an extremely visual way through customisable graphs, charts and labels, all of which are interactive and linked to your videos with the click of a mouse.

We’ve already covered this environment extensively in our blog, but always from a purely functional point of view, i.e. how to create them and put them into operation.


Here are a few articles you might like to review before continuing:


Turn Your Clicks into Stats (Part 1)


Turn Your Clicks into Stats (Part 2)


How to Analyse Action in Different Areas of the Field


How to Measure Ball Possession


Going back to Hudl Sportscode for a moment, we also published this comparison between Nacsport Dashboards and Sportscode Output Windows a while back. A must read…


Lastly, here is the link to our YouTube channel where there are several videos dedicated to the Dashboard and the specific tools within this environment. A quick search of “Dashboards” will bring up some interesting results.


With that said, we’re not focussing on functionality in this article but instead on aesthetics. We’re going to assume that you already have a basic grasp of how Dashboards work and we’re going to share 10 aesthetically pleasing Dashboards, created by Nacsport users the world over.


Hopefully, the creativity on display here can serve as an inspiration to your own work…


Background Images Are Key


Something that you’ll come to realise as you go through this article is that the background image is fundamental to the aesthetic value of the Dashboard.


With a small measure of creativity and a basic knowledge of image editing software (from free programs such as Pixlr, up to Adobe Photoshop) you can design a background image which serves as the basis of your Dashboard. You can create empty or blank spaces onto which you can incorporate elements such as additional images, graphs, charts and data labels.


Creating the perfect Dashboard is entirely up to you and the possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination. We can’t do it for you, unfortunately, but we can give you some solid examples with this selection from various Nacsport users…


Ben McGuckin: Spectacular Dashboards for Gaelic Football


We’ll start with a Dashboard that left our jaws hanging on the floor, simply because of the sheer amount of data it conveys.


If you look closely, it has no graphs or charts, only data labels and percentages. The key here is having a good background as a base. Although we haven’t been able to confirm this, we believe that the opposition team’s badge can be changed depending on who is playing.



The creator of this amazing piece of art is Ben McGucking an Irish Gaelic Football user and specialist in creating Nacsport Dashboards. Check out his twitter profile @BMG_11 for more great ideas!


Here’s another example of Ben’s work in which, as well as a large number of data labels and percentages, he includes bar charts to reflect different kickouts.



Millfield School: Dashboards for Football and Cricket


Analysts at Millfield School have also given us great ideas to inspire our Dashboards. In the example below, made for video analysis in cricket, we see a silhouette surrounded by data labels to represent catch success and failure. This is a purely aesthetic touch, but a pleasing one.



As we’ve said, Dashboards have many variants, depending on the complexity of the sport, the depth of analysis and the needs of the analyst themselves. In the following example for football, also by Millfield School, we see an example that integrates labels and charts for a simple analysis in a very clear and practical way.



Percentage of Possession, Areas of the Field and Grouped Bars


The following example, created by our UK and Ireland representatives, AnalysisPro, shows some ideas we haven’t yet seen.


For example, measuring possession in different thirds of the field. Basically, it’s about creating categories and descriptors in the button template that allow us to register data and then combine it as data labels. For example, “Home Possession” and “Away Possession” as categories and “1st Half”, “Whole Game” and “2nd Half” as descriptors.


Another innovation by our friends, AnalysisPro are the grouped bars. It’s not so much the button or the design but the way they reflect data. This type of chart shows two bars which increase or decrease in length depending on the percentage of the total.


5 shots out of a total of 10 for your team represents 50% of the bar while 3 out of 12 crosses for the opposition would be 25% of the total. In the first case the bar would occupy half of the total, while in the second, only a quarter.



The Field of Play


This example was created by our own Design Team but is inspired by the work of a certain Spanish La Liga team. The representations of the pitch allow us to identify actions in different areas of the field.



In the case of the team we referred to earlier, they use the Dashboard to identify the areas of loss and recovery of the ball and as the source and result of the shots on goal.


Graphs and Charts vs Labels


There’s a lot of debate in our community about what kind of elements are best for inclusion in Dashboards: graphs and charts or data labels.


There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Labels take up less space and, therefore, allow you to insert much more data into your dashboard. Charts and graphs, on the other hand, use a lot of space but are much more visually attractive and allow you to see the data at a glance.


Here are a few of examples where graphics are predominate. Less data but much clearer information. The first belongs to Dutch hockey club Cartouche.



This second Dashboard is part of the excellent work carried out by Ealing Trailfinders. The photo goes back a few years but is the perfect example of a Dashboard where graphics of all kind are utilised. We can see bar charts, pie charts and half-pie charts.



This next Dashboard was actually designed by analyst Johnny Bradley for Irish TV station RTE and, again, shows analysis for Gaelic football. As you can see, the perfectly designed background accommodates dozens of labels and the occasional chart. You can check out more of Johnny's work over on his Twitter feed @JohnnyBrad1ey and check out this AnalysisPro interview with Johnny where he talks about his journey into performance analysis and gives lots of useful advice on data creation, manipulation and visualisation with Nacsport.



Complex vs Simple


A Dashboard can be as complex as you want it to be. You can spend many hours tweaking it until it’s just right. That being said, you can also produce quick Dashboards which are just as effective as those mentioned above.


A lot of information doesn’t always guarantee success either. Sometimes you can create Dashboards which are just as appealing but with less data. Let’s say that this is more of a “minimalist” approach.


Here’s an example that we really like. It only has data labels, but the info is well organised and clearly distributed:



Dashboards for Coaches and Players


As a small extra today, here are a few examples of the practical uses of Dashboards.


Dashboards are not always just for the analyst. Sometimes the information has to be shared with coaches and players too.


This photo shows the analysis lab at Castleford Tigers. This is an amazing two screen set up with Dashboards at the bottom linked to videos at the top. Players can click the information on the Dashboard and be shown videos of those actions.



In this case, the analyst doesn’t need to be a go-between. They simply produce the data and let the players get on with it themselves.


The Performance Analysis department at Seville FC do something similar. Analysts in this department register the action of entire matches, creating a database of football which is fed to Dashboards, predesigned for each different team at the club. Coaches simply pass through the lab, choose the appropriate Dashboard and review their team’s performance.



Before we finish, we’d just like to thank all our users for the care and attention they put into their Dashboards. There are a lot of hours work represented in these amazing examples we’ve given you today.


As always, if you need any help or advice regarding Dashboards, or any other tool in Nacsport, contact us at media@nacsport.com and we’ll help you out (or find someone who can!). If you’re not yet a Nacsport user, what are you waiting for? Click the link below and download a FREE 30 day trial!

Thanks for reading!

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