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As part of the DataHub’s continued drive to enrich the sector’s understanding of the data it holds, a new strategic partnership has been agreed with Ray Algar, Gymtopia founder and Managing Director of UK-based Oxygen Consulting. The partnership is designed to help both private and public sector leisure operators more clearly define and champion the social value generated through their venues and programmes.

Founded in 2013, the DataHub is a virtual repository for sports and leisure data, holding information from more than 157 operators and their visitors at over 1,600 sites. By sharing up-to-date intelligence, those investing within the sector can benchmark and make more informed decisions. DataHub’s award-winning Social Value Calculator (SVC), created in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, currently utilises more than 400 million visits worth of data to deliver benchmarks and key insights about the social value created by the sector.

Ray Algar, Gymtopia founder said: “The fitness sector is driven by an altruistic purpose; public, private and third sector organisations all exist to serve and support the health and wellbeing of their customers. However, the metrics used to quantify business success, especially in the private sector, are predominantly financial – profit is very often a key measure. I have long argued that the wider social impact health clubs create also needs to be consistently measured. I believe the DataHub’s new Social Value Calculator can help clubs to demonstrate in new and compelling ways the transformative social bearing they have.”

Such recognition can only be achieved if the sector is measuring clubs in a comprehensive, systematic way. “Having a consistent method for operators to measure and compare the social impact of their business will provide a greater understanding of the important role this sector plays in improving the nation’s health and wellbeing,” says Algar. “Over the past five years I have witnessed the DataHub build considerable support from public sector operators: I will be encouraging private operators to engage, and unlock new ways to measure and communicate their social impact.”

Algar will be working with operators to interpret and translate their social value findings and form important evidence for their corporate social responsibility strategy, helping to foster buy-in from potential investors, exploring revenue opportunities with new partners and enhancing reputation.

The SVC fits well with the themes captured in Oxygen Consulting’s Fitness Sector Social Good Report, which explores the idea that a business with a purpose beyond maximising its own self-interests will become a more valued and sustainable organisation, and will enable some of its recommendations to be implemented. Algar will also be exploring ways that his Gymtopia platform – a free-to-access website that gathers stories to show different ways the health and fitness industry is giving back to its local communities – can link with the DataHub to further drive engagement with operators.

About The DataHub
The collaborative DataHub project was launched in 2013 as a secure, automated way for all facilities across the health and fitness sector to bring their data together on a daily basis, align it with data standards and then access and share consistent business intelligence and best practice. All DataHub Club members (facility operators, NGBs and delivery partners) now have accurate reporting information, relative benchmarks and actionable operational solutions, based on a central and growing shared repository of 400+ million facility visits.

The DataHub allows partner suppliers (marketing, health and safety, customer insight, social return etc.) to leverage the centralised intelligence within their own specialist modules and services, creating a one-stop-shop that delivers simple, coordinated and enhanced customer, programme and facility outcomes. Never before have so many sector organisations been united under one umbrella with such a fundamental mandate, and with the technology to deliver this much-needed step change in how the industry uses data.