Northwestern University

Northwestern University Case Study


A Division 1 College located just north of Chicago, Northwestern University (NU) has been using Smartabase for the last 5 years in order to aggregate and centralize data across all departments for their student athletes.
Northwestern manages data in Smartabase for hundreds of male and female athletes across football, basketball, baseball, field hockey, soccer, softball, volleyball, and more.


Jason Pullara Former Assistant Athletic Director at Northwestern University gives insight into his journey implementing Smartabase for the student athletes of over the past 5 years. Pullara describes Smartabase as the one key access point for all data; connecting sports medicine, sports performance, sports nutrition, coaches and athletes.


Jennifer Tymkew, Associate Director of Athletic Training Services, Northwestern University explores the dynamics and challenges of high-performance teams in the collegiate setting, including interactions amongst the core staff members and the crucial integration of team coaches and administrators. Jen will demonstrate the separate entities of sports medicine, sports performance and sports nutrition and their respective utilization of Smartabase, looking at how these departments share information across their university wide data platforms.

Centralization of Data & Communication

The Smartabase system has enabled NU to bring all their departments together in one place to store and manage data, using the same language and platform to collaborate.

Assistant Athletic Director Jason Pullara says “We needed to get Sports Medicine, Sports Performance, Sports Nutrition on the same page, with one access point to get all the information they need to address the needs of athletes and coaches.”

“Then we’re able to bring in our athletes and our coaches to that platform to make communication easier, and give them consistent information daily to make better decisions based on where they’re at physically and mentally, and their ability to perform.”

Smartabase Devices 1
Athlete Availability 1 1

Student Athlete Daily Wellness

Using the daily wellness questionnaire in Smartabase, NU gains real time, up to date health and wellness information from their athletes. Students access the questionnaire directly via their smart phone using the Smartabase Athlete App.

This data is used to inform team and individual wellness to readiness to train, delivered to coaches as an automated report or viewable as a dashboard in Smartabase.

Injury Surveillance & Reporting

“We were in a very archaic EMR system where our athletic trainers were trying to document in very physician driven systems… my note was almost taking me longer to do than the encounter that I had spent with that student athlete.” – Jen Tymkew

With the help of Smartabase NU built their own EMR system within Smartabase, with an athletic training specific focus and the ability to develop comprehensive injury reporting.

By centralizing medical and injury reporting in Smartabase, the data can then be fed through to inform reporting for other departments in real time. For example, coaches will know whether injuries are bothering individual athletes, and the availability of those student athletes at all times thanks to live status updates.

Further to this, with injuries and incidents stored in Smartabase, High Performance Managers, Coaches and Sports Science staff are able to start looking at injury trends over time and gain even deeper insights from injury data.

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Kiosk App MOckup 1

Hydration Testing

Northwestern University currently use Smartabase to help them measure and provide feedback to athletes on dehydration.

Using Gatorade scales directly connected to Smartabase, the NU team can assist their students to determine dehydration after practice.

This can be done with any scales in conjunction with the Smartabase Kiosk, where students weight themselves and enter their weight into Smartabase before practice, then do the same after practice. The Smartabase kiosk will then give the student athlete instant feedback on their dehydration with recommendations on replacing fluids. Recommendations can be completely customized within Smartabase.

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