A day in the life with Daniel Twinn

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Daniel is a Data Analyst and a core member of 4global’s Data Analytics and Insight team He provides data driven approaches to strategic projects, using advanced statistical and forecast modelling to derive actionable insight. Daniel has significant experience in physical activity data analysis, harnessing the power of Big Data Analytics from the DataHub for a range of clients including National Governing Bodies (NGBs), Leisure Operators, Active Partnerships and Central and Local Government in the UK and overseas   

What does a typical day look like for you right now?

I have always believed that I’m in a very fortunate position and that a typical day involves providing a positive impact on people’s lives, even during this COVID period. Whether it is advising leisure centres to provide the best programmes for members or finding the best location to build a facility to better serve local communities, all can play a major part in improving people’s everyday lives.

When I have time to reflect, it’s weird to think I thrive from this almost thankless task. Me and Joe Bloggs will never meet in the real world but it’s partly because of me, churning through millions of numbers and analysing his data self, that he can benefit from socialising with friends over a game of badminton (aligned with government guidelines of course) or relax with a yoga session.

Recently, I’ve been at the heart of 4global’s industry recovery planning service. My day consists of combining billions of numbers and using advanced forecasting models to work out how the sector will recover and what the future might look like. After staring at what can look like a scene from the matrix all day, I try to relax by throwing a dodgeball around the garden and many games of Fifa in the evening

How have you adapted to remote working?

Unlike most of the sport sector which relies on real-world physical interaction, the data which hides behind the scenes doesn’t suffer from a need to socially distance. It remains immune, accessible and still has the ability to interact. As such, a change to remote working hasn’t impacted my daily tasks too much.

Obviously, I miss seeing everyone in person and the general presence of being in an office environment but ironically, with the COVID restrictions in place to limit interactions, I find myself engaging equally and arguably more so with the rest of the 4global team than before COVID. The trifecta of daily update calls allows me to communicate face to face, virtually at least, rather than sending various emails or messages. As a result, the idea of “remote working”, seems anything but “remote”, the power of technology is unbelievable even compared to 10 years ago and it’s continuing to advance at scary speeds. Maybe in the next few years we will have the ability to host meetings with holographic projections like a scene from a movie…. forever changing the need for a traditional office environment.

What has been your biggest learning moment of the C-19 era?

When I was younger and got asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, other than a farfetched answer of professional footballer (still dreaming…..). I wouldn’t be able to answer with a  specific profession. As I got older, and hopefully wiser, my answer was always to be “versatile”.

I have never experienced an event on the scale of COVID and may never experience again in my lifetime, but regardless it’s taught me that my younger self was right. Everyone needs the ability to adapt and have a string of versatility to their theoretical bow. Despite my past successes in forecasting, nobody truly knows what the future has in store, but whatever it is, I want to be prepared.

What do you think/hope the lasting impact that C-19 will have on the industry?

From the COVID recovery modelling report, the numbers indicate the sector will recover to the same level and achieve longer term continued gradual growth. This shows just how much of a role sport plays in people’s lives. I believe the true value of sport comes from engagement in various forms:

  • Engaging socially with clubs and being part of a community
  • Engaging physically, forcing your body to move and release endorphins
  • Engaging mentally within yourself, trying to challenge yourself and hit goals

Very few activities can combine all these benefits. It is no coincidence sport has long lasting physical and mental health benefits and will continue to play a vital role in society.

As Plato said: “Necessity is the mother of invention” and the past few months have certainly shown us that we can be creative with how we deliver and increase participation in sport. I’ve seen leisure centres and NGBs being more creative than ever with how they encourage members to engage and stay active. This global pandemic has sparked many inventions and has forced a “data rich, information poor” sector to use data and technology more effectively. I hope this not only remains but continues to develop in the future.

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