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07 Sep 2022
Europe Active and 4 Global announce launch of European Data Hub
By Frances Marcellin
Europe Active and 4 Global announce launch of European Data Hub
SATS took part in the pilot project for the development of the European Data Hub
Photo: SATS
4 Global has expanded its Data Hub (DataHub) platform into Europe. The announcement was made at the Europe Active-hosted Active Leadership Forum in Berlin.

DataHub is a repository for sport and physical activity data which has been used by 250 operators and 300 local authorities in the UK.

Following a trial, in collaboration with a range of fitness operators – including Basic Fit and SATS – Data Hub will now be rolled out across the European fitness sector.

"The European Data Hub will support business growth, and – importantly in a time of deep economic uncertainty – it also unlocks insights which allow investment to be properly targeted towards communities that need it the most,” said Kerstin Obenauer, chief customer officer at 4 Global(4Global).

“We’re demonstrating how having the right data, and using it to draw insights into how to encourage people to be fitter and more active, has the power to really transform people’s lives,” she said.

As part of the company’s growth strategy, 4 Global appointed Obenauer in March 2022, with a remit that focused on driving global sales. The hire followed an IPO filing at the start of the year which valued the firm at £24m.

As a precursor to its expansion into Europe, Data Hub was already gathering and tracking data from over 6m members and 2,500 fitness clubs across mainland Europe.

Data gathered will be used to create a European version of the company's Social Value Calculator, with findings presented at next year’s European Health and Fitness Forum.

The Social Value Calculator has enabled the creation of data-driven economic insights demonstrating the financial benefits of physical activity in the UK.

4 Global also holds major public sector contracts and in partnership with Swim England, its Social Value Calculator – delivered in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University and Experian – has been used to demonstrate the economic benefits of swimming for the community.

A recent report revealed that swimming saves the NHS more than £357m a year in terms of prevention.

The figure, described as an “underestimate”, was broken down into various healthcare conditions. These included dementia (where the saving was £139,546,106); stroke (£100,046,173); diabetes (£37,446,191); and depression (£9,501,792). The associated drop in doctors’ appointments was valued at £51,048,348.

Andreas Paulsen, CEO of Europe Active commented: “We’re excited to have initiated the visionary European Data Hub project with Europe Active’s key partners at this transformative time in our sector’s history. We're eager to see the benefits and insights this innovative tool will bring to businesses and communities across the Continent.

“With market uncertainty and volatility increasing as a consequence of the pandemic, inflation, energy costs, disrupted supply chains and labour shortages, it is vital to have a comprehensive understanding of the landscape in front of our sector’s businesses. The European Data Hub will help our stakeholders take fact-based, informed decisions on their onwards development.

"Europe Active and key partners have worked with 4 Global through the trial phase of the European Data Hub project launch, and it is now time for more club operators and many other industry actors to join the platform in the coming months to help put Europe on the best path towards a healthier society.”

Liz Terry, editor of HCM, said: "The launch of the European Data Hub is great news for the entire European fitness sector. We urge all operators to back the launch and get on board with this initiative to enable the sector to generate the data it needs to transact with governments and investors at this critical time.

"The ability of operators to demonstrate their social value will be vital as the sector increasingly transacts with health services, requiring operators to be able to provide evidence to prove the efficacy of physical activity interventions."



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