12 Tips Guaranteed to Save You Time During an Analysis

By Duncan Ritchie

19-July-2023 on Tips

23 minute read

One of the biggest challenges faced by analysts in modern sport is time management. They may have to prepare for and analyse two, sometimes three games per week. Add to this analysis of training sessions, travel time, meetings…and time, or rather the lack of it, becomes a big problem.

So, in this article, we’ll look at some basic tips for saving time with Nacsport. With these tips, we’ll try to speed up your workflows, combine processes, and generally make your day much quicker and easier, so let’s get started…




In the previous paragraph, we described these tips as “basic”, and there’s a reason for this. All these tips are aimed at beginners or intermediate analysts. In fact, every one of these tips can be implemented in our mid-range program, Nacsport Scout. In addition, the majority of them can be done using Nacsport Basic+ and quite a few with Basic.


Whatever the case, we’ve added the name of the program in the heading for each tip so you can easily see for yourself with which program they can be done.


With that being said, remember that you can upgrade to any higher version of Nacsport quickly and easily without having to buy it from scratch. Instead you simply pay the difference between what you currently have and the version of Nacsport you want.


Simply get in contact with our sales team to discuss your upgrade.


Nacsport Upgrade


Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, we’ve ordered this list according to the typical Nacsport workflow, so we’ll go from the tagging window creation to tagging to the timeline to presentations. 



Use Descriptors for More Accurate Filtering in the Matrix


[From Basic Plus]


We’ve said it many times before, but it always bears repeating…descriptors are a key aspect of the Nacsport workflow.

They add data to your video clips, giving them a much deeper level of context and making them much easier to filter. Have a read of this blog to find out why they are so important.

Basically, descriptors are essential for a multitude of tools in the program, not least the data matrix. The matrix is an essential tool for searching and filtering your clips, and without descriptors, this tool would be useless. Check out this article for more info about the matrix.


Nacsport Data Matrix


How Can This Tip Save You Time?

Let’s start by looking at a common category…shots. After tagging a game, you want to view the shots that were on target separately from those that were off target. You can do this by looking through every clip you have tagged and filtering them one by one.


But there’s a much easier way.


Add the descriptors On Target and Off Target to your shots and you can filter them much quicker, especially on the data matrix where you simply find the point where the category and descriptors meet and click the relevant cell.


You can add as many descriptors as you want (depending on the limitations of the version of Nacsport you are using, of course). Game periods, areas of the field, player names, etc. All this information allows for quick, easy filtering of your video clips.





Assign Hotkeys to Buttons

[All versions]

This is one of the simplest ways to save time while tagging a game. Instead of clicking on each button with the mouse, assign a hotkey to the button and tag using the keyboard.


You can assign up to 240 different key combinations (all normal keys, plus combinations with Shift, Alt and Ctrl).


It may take some time to adjust to tagging with the keyboard but, trust us, in the long run it will be much faster.



Nacsport Hotkeys Shortcuts


How Can This Tip Save You Time?

Keyboard shortcuts are used in many different computer programs because, quite simply, they are designed to save time. Having your hands on the keyboard is much faster than the precise movements you have to make with the mouse.




Some users have taken this tip to heart and actually have a separate keyboard specifically for tagging a game. They have overlaid their keyboard with coloured stickers and names, making it easier to navigate the process. Time and memory will do the same job but, if you have to share your tagging process with a colleague, this will make it much easier for them to learn.




Adjust the PRE and POST Times of your Buttons

[All versions]


If you have a basic knowledge of Nacsport, you’ll already know that buttons have two associated times - Pre and Post. These basically dictate how long your clip will be, with a run in time before you click and run off time after.


By default, this time is five seconds on either side but we advise that you think carefully about the times you assign for each button in your tagging window.

For example, when speaking about a shot on goal, you will be more interested in the aftermath, rebounds, deflections, etc, so it makes sense to make the Post time longer.


On the other hand, when it comes to a transition, you might be more interested in the events that led up to it, so a longer Pre time might be needed.

Basically, you should think carefully about the average length of the actions you are tagging and adjust the timings appropriately. This will save you from more editing once you get to the timeline and analysis phase. 



Pre and post times


How Can This Tip Save You Time?

With the default times, you might find that the play you are really interested in is cut off prematurely, or you don’t see enough of the build up to it. Other times, you might have too much footage that is not needed to see the appropriate action.

This is time wasted during the analysis as you will then need to edit your clips in order to present them. Adjusting Pre and Post times, in many cases, can avoid this additional editing.




Create and Groups and Assign Buttons to Them

[All versions]

Groups add another layer of information to your analysis
and, therefore, allow you to filter your clips more accurately. Here’s an example…

You’re having a post-match meeting with the defensive players about their performance in the last game.

If you
don’t have buttons assigned to groups, you would have to go through every clip, one-by-one in order to find all the clips relevant to this group of players.

Instead, if you have all the relevant buttons assigned to a
Defense Group, you can get instant access to all the material you need.



Groups matrix nacsport



How Can This Tip Save You Time?

As in the case with descriptors, the first tip on this list, it’s simply a matter of being able to locate clips quickly and easily. Groups allow you to collect similar actions together. If they did not exist, you would have to go through all your clips one-by-one or find another method of filtering them.




Use Nacsport Tag&view


[Compatible with all versions]


Do you avoid tagging a game live because you don’t want to carry a laptop? Maybe it’s time to get Tag&view, our mobile app for iOS. This is a lightweight solution which means you can tag the game live and save a lot of time in the analysis.


This data can then be exported to the desktop version of Nacsport and synched with the video. You can even using your devices camera to film at the same time.



Nacsport Tag&view


How Can This Tip Save You Time?

If you use Tag&view, you have access to all your tagging windows on your mobile device. You can tag in situ in any stadium or training field. This means that you don’t have to watch the game twice (once live, the other pre recorded whilst tagging) as you already have all your tagging done. A bit of spit and polish and your’re done.




Take Advantage of Third-Party Data

[From Basic+]

XML is the rosetta stone of video analysis. It’s a common file format which can be shared by many different software packages and data platforms.

You can import XML data to Nacsport and analyse it on the timeline.

This is great if you use third-party sports data providers. You can even combine this with your own analysis data and get a completely unique overview of the game.

Although XML import is available starting with Basic+, with Scout you can open multiple analyses at the same time, making your work much more comprehensive.




How Can This Tip Save You Time?

Well, it’s pretty obvious this one, right? If you download data from a provider, then you won’t have to spend huge amounts of time watching and tagging a full game. When you have multiple games per week, this is a massive time saver, leaving you time to get into the nitty gritty of the analysis work.




Keyboard Video Controls

[All versions]

Skipping through a video with traditional controls can be pretty time consuming, going back and forth to find the exact moment you are looking for.


But what if you had video control that allowed you to skip backwards and forwards a predetermined amount of time with the keyboard controls? This would be much more precise, right?


Well, this level of control exists in Nacsport. There are three different types of skip assigned to the keyboard and you assign the exact amount of time that is skipped for each one.




How Can This Tip Save You Time?

Everyone who has tagged a game from a video knows how much time is wasted when you go back and forth trying to find the exact time where you want to start tagging. By using precise keyboard controls, you can shave precious minutes off of this process.




Keyboard Shortcuts


[All versions]


Do you use keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+V / Ctrl+C to copy and paste texts in word processing programs? Well, Nacsport has similar keyboard shortcuts that allow you to do many video analysis processes quickly and seamlessly. Memorising these shortcuts can save you an immense amount of time.


In fact, we’ve got two ebooks which list all of the available shortcuts in Nacsport. There’s one for Windows and another for Mac. They’re free, so get them now.



Nacsport Shortcuts Windows and Mac



How Can This Tip Save You Time?

Every computer program has keyboard shortcuts designed to make life easier for their users, so why shouldn’t Nacsport? Download the ebook, study them and use them, you’ll soon see how much time you can shave off of your video analysis processes.





Print off the ebook and stick them somewhere visible around your workstation. They will then be available for easy access and reference. Get to know them, they will save you time, we promise.



Edit Clips Before Working with Them

[All versions]


The clip editor is a great solution for editing your clips before proceeding with the analysis.


There are several different things you can do in this environment, but perhaps the most important is the ability to set the start and end time of the clip so they are more precise in what they show.


You can also add and remove descriptors, meaning that you have a higher level of detail in your data. You can add audio and text notes to your clips too. All of this makes the clip and associated data much cleaner.



How Can This Tip Save You Time?

This window is fantastic. Even though you’ve followed all the tips in this list to the letter, there will still be times where you have to edit your clips…sport is unpredictable at times after all. The clip editor allows you to do this with ease.


Not only that, you can move between your clips with ease using the arrow keys. This means that you don’t constantly have to close and open this environment to do your editing. Tremendous!



Design a Standard Structure for Presentations

[All versions]

As an analyst, it stands to reason that many of your processes will be replicated every week.

Take presentations, for example. We’re sure that you and the coaching staff will want to find a standardised version of presentations each and every week. You might have a presentation for opposition analysis, for example, or for offensive and defensive actions, or set pieces.

Whatever the case, it’s probable that you will want a set list structure so that you can concentrate on the content rather than worrying about the order.

With Nacsport, you can save your list structures so that they are automatically opened when you open a new presentation. Obviously, this saves a huge amount of time, meaning that you don’t have to create new lists week in, week out.



structure presentation nacsport



How Can This Tip Save You Time?

Obviously, not having to create a presentation list by list every time you present is great. Agree a presentation structure with your fellow coaches and don't touch it anymore. Select it as a favourite and, from here, take advantage of all the time you have saved.




Use Interactive Dashboards to Your Workflow


[From Scout]


Nacsport’s dashboards allow you to transform your tags and clips into visual statistical data through graphs, charts and labels. And one of the huge advantages of dashboards is that they are interactive. This means that you click on any statistic, the video clips connected to the stat will play in the video player. 


This is a great resource for keeping all your data in one place and accessing it at a glance.


They are also extremely easy to create and design with the intuitive graphical interface. No coding skills are needed here.



Nacsport Dashboards



How Can This Tip Save You Time?

Invest time to save it later. Create a dashboard that serves as a summary of your analysis. Nacsport will do the rest: turn your clicks into statistics. With just a couple of clicks you will have access to all the data and clips you need.




Add Nacsport Hub to Your Workflow

[Compatible with all versions]


Just because it’s last on the list, doesn’t mean that this will save you the least amount of time. On the contrary, when used well, Hub will be a huge time saver for you.


Hub is an online video analysis and communication platform that the whole team has access to, coaching staff and players alike. Private and secure, you can upload your videos and analyses to the platform and share them with the relevant people.


Everyone can access the platform from any browser or the mobile app from anywhere in the world and see, share and comment on your video clips, insights, or posts.


Hub revolves around the Team Channel, an intuitive workspace which is laid out like any social media platform. Meet, communicate, learn and grow together in the cloud.





How Can This Tip Save You Time?

Upload your clips to Nacsport Hub and let your team do the rest. You won't have to compile your work over and over again. You won't have to do umpteen meetings. With all the material housed in the same place, communication and collective improvement are guaranteed.



Final Thoughts


Do these tips really work?


Well, we think so and it’s a belief that comes from years and years of experience.


We encourage you to put them into practice and see for yourself. In the short term, they may only save you a few minutes per day. But, as you become more accustomed to doing them, the sum total for the whole season could represent a huge amount of time, freeing you up for other things. 


If you have any questions about these tips, or about anything else related to video analysis, get in contact with us through Twitter.

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