Sporting teams can now analyse how they fare against other players with the help of technology.
Google, Facebook and Uber have used machine learning to understand human behaviour and now a team of Otago researchers can be added to that list.
The team has developed a machine learning approach to help sports teams, including the Southern Steel netball team and Otago's rugby team, to gain a competitive advantage.
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that can be used for finding patterns in large, complex data sets.
The Otago researchers discovered unique ways that teams played in netball championships and premierships, which has laid the groundwork to develop strategies and counter-strategies in competitions.
This analysis has been presented to the coaches and players of the Southern Steel each week over the last two seasons, for players and coaches to determine how to implement the information on court as part of a game plan.
The analysis played a vital role in the Southern Steel's unbeaten run to the inaugural premiership title this season, says coach Reinga Bloxham.
"Researching your opponent has always been an integral part of sport. This technology has enabled us to take that to a whole new level, which is really exciting," she said.
"As a coach, you want to utilise all the tools available to enhance performance."