I have been a member of the Digitization Council of The Swedish Sports Confederation for around four years now. Or to be perfectly honest, I was a member of the IT Council for three years (2012-2015), where my presence initially was occational due to me working as a CIO in India at the time. Then in 2015 a political decision was made by the government to convert the group to a Digitization Council instead, increasing the focus on utilizing IT for sport benefits rather than building it, thus shifting the limelight of our efforts from technology aspects to business aspects. So as of 2016 we are now officially the Digitization Council instead. The meeting today was the second in this new embodiment and we are still in the process of establishing a continuous work process for ourselves.
Purpose of the council
The council has been appointed by the Executive Committee of the confederation to function as an advisory board to them in digitization matters. The function is supportive, but influencial, and has the purpose to be the experts that drive digitization for the Swedish sports movement. And since the Swedish sports movement is comprised of 3,4 million member athletes organized in more than 20,000 sports associations we can have a lot of positive impact if we succeed in what we do.
We have just recently defined a list of altogether 27 prioritized areas where digitization can (or may) improve the sport scene. Examples are
- Virtual training/e-learning
- Digital democracy
- Integration of immigrants into sports
- Internet of Sports
This is just a glimpse of the work we have ahead, so there is definitely a pipeline of intriguing work in front of us.
Open data – a task for me
Personally I just took on the task to draft a proposal for the use of open data in Swedish sports. The intention is to draft the body of a document that shall resemble an open data policy. The work, which I will conduct in collaboration with the confederation’s CIO, may point out how a system infrastructure can be defined to support open data. It may also point out guidelines for the various sports federations and associations for how they should approach open data and under what forms. And most likely it will point out the plausible benefits of sharing and utilizing open data to develop more innovative and user-oriented services. It is my experience that few people in sports administration are technically bewandered and know how to work the technological aspect of managing data. Thus the confereration’s role can be very supportive and provide a guiding hand.
The first draft will be presented to the rest of the council on our next meeting in August. Meanwhile I have some darn interesting work before me depicting the opportunities (and risks) of open data to the Swedish sport society. Wish me luck!