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Data Analysis Fundamentals: Introduction

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00:00 - I'm Tim from RaceCraft and I'd like to welcome you to our Racecar Data Analysis Fundamentals course.
00:06 Driving any car on the absolute edge of performance requires a lot of concentration and attention from the driver.
00:12 There's a lot going on and the driver's main focus is understandably going to be on positioning the car accurately and maintaining control.
00:21 Particularly for a novice, these are two functions that are likely to take up all available mental processing power.
00:28 There's not a lot left to take in the subtle effects of small driving changes or to really recall exactly what happened on a particular corner that may have made the car faster or slower.
00:39 Just think of the range of actions required of a driver in order to complete a lap of an average racetrack.
00:45 There's gear changes, both up and down, the requirements to rev match on the downshifts, identifying braking points, making sure the car is slowed sufficiently to allow the turn in and hit the apex.
00:59 The gentle application of throttle of corner exit to maintain traction and about 1000 other aspects.
01:06 Perhaps understandably then, it's hard, if not impossible for the average or even moderately experienced driver to store the aspects of a last lap in their memory accurately for recall later when analysing what went well or what went badly.
01:21 This is where datalogging and data analysis comes in.
01:25 The datalogger is like a big brother sitting there silently in the car and it's along for the ride.
01:31 The datalogger is impartial and it knows exactly what happened during every single millisecond of every lap.
01:37 This makes for an invaluable tool for analysing changes in car setup as well as driver performance.
01:44 In the upper echelons of motorsport, datalogging and data analysis might involve 10s of 1000s of dollars worth of hardware and requires multiple dedicated engineers just to analyse and interpret the information in order to do something useful with it.
01:59 You've probably seen the pit walls in Formula 1 with dozens of screens and just as many engineers sitting intently watching.
02:07 The good news though is that at the enthusiast and even semi professional motorsport level, this level of data just isn't necessary to improve your performance.
02:17 What we're going to focus on in this course is real, cost effective data analysis that's within financial reach of most track day enthusiasts.
02:26 You're not going to need to spend thousands and you're not going to need a university degree to know what the data you're generating means.
02:34 We're going to focus on the low hanging fruit that can deliver you the easy and large gains in lap time.
02:40 In my experience, this should add up to improvements in the region of at least a second or more.
02:45 Depending on the current level of driver skill.
02:48 It's almost certainly the cheapest lap time improvement you can find in your car.
02:52 While this course is intended to be an entry level introduction into data analysis, after mastering the skills and techniques presented here, many of you will want to take your knowledge and analysis skills further.
03:04 In this case, our follow up more advanced data analysis course is the ideal stepping stone for you.
03:09 It builds on the knowledge taught within this course but dives much deeper into advanced analysis techniques using a wider range of sensors and custom math channels as well as covering chassis development topics such as damper and tyre analysis.
03:24 Before we dive into the course proper, I should probably give you a little background into who I am and I guess why I'm worth listening to.
03:32 I initially got involved in motorsport through a workshop I worked at after leaving school, building hill climb, rally and circuit racing cars.
03:40 After completing my apprenticeship, eventually I decided I wanted to be involved in higher levels of racing so I made the decision to go study full time at university, earning a degree in mechanical engineering.
03:52 Before completing my masters in fluid dynamics and mechanical design.
03:57 I then lived in the United States working for a motorsport vehcle dynamics consultancy whose customers spanner large professional race teams, tyre manufacturers and OEMs.
04:07 This was followed by a stint with a motorsport software development company that made race strategy and data management software.
04:15 Along the way I've worked as a data, performance, strategy and race engineer in championships all around the world.
04:23 Including the World Endurance Championship. IMSA, Blancpain, V8 Supercars and BTCC.
04:29 With prototypes, GTs, and touring cars.
04:33 Before joining RaceCraft, I was working as a race engineer in the Australian V8 Supercars series.