Types of analysis

The types of analysis conducted can be split into two components: Quantitative and Qualitative.


Quantitative is concerned with the numerical summary of a performance. When we use the term quantitative analysis, we usually associate the frequency of events that have occurred or been identified. In more complex demands, quantitative analysis can provide statistical evidence of KPI’s being used.

No matter the complexity, quantitative analysis is the collection of numerical information that gives us a knowledge of result and knowledge of performance. An example would be counting the number of lineouts a team had in a match and totalling up the number of successful ones.


Qualitative analysis is concerned with understanding the performance in more detail, often requiring a video to be able to look back post-performance. Qualitative analysis is seen as more subjective as it investigates how successfully a team performed a phase or how a player performed a skill. An example would be taking the footage of the lineouts and analysing how and why they were successful.

Decision making is often discussed in qualitative analysis, as understanding a player’s thoughts whilst performing various skills and actions are challenging to measure numerically.

In summary, quantitative analysis is a commentary on the game when something happened and how often. Qualitative is explaining why something happened in a game.

Quantitative and qualitative analysis can be divided in subgroups. The table below illustrates the different types of analysis an analyst may find themselves performing in the role. To add context there are some pros and cons to each.

Group Description Pros Cons
Observational The watching of events to understand a team or individual’s performance.

Favours effective coaches/analysts who have high levels of perception and those who are comfortable in critical thinking.

Without video there is a reliance on human memory to remember events. There is an acceptance now that technology will be there to help us review.
Notational The collecting and recording of events so performance can be quantified A performance can be broken down to provide as much detail as required. Added information such as event qualifiers or the location of events add greater context. The information available is only what is visible during the data collection.
The processing of information can be time consuming without the right tools.
Statistical Using numerical information that has been collected to report on performance

The ability to take large amounts of data to support informed decisions. Trend analysis critical to a team or organisations long term, success.

Sometimes looked at in isolation, this can be challenging for coaches and players to understand.
Self-reflection Athletes conducting self reviews of performance as soon as possible after competition. This can be with the aid of video or not

Used for athletes to self review after a game. Non-intrusive and allows athletes to be honest with their own performance. Being able to reflect immediately is valuable in removing any negative mood states that can last after a performance.

If the process is not thoroughly designed, it can have reverse effects and athletes can look at things that aren’t relevant to the match.

Video analysis review The team review following a match. Focused on the group identifying the key areas of performance.

When linked to video it becomes a very powerful tool for the team or unit to understand the specifics of the team strategies.

It must keep attention, without clear and concise messages the impact can be lost.