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How Sports & Business Analytics Can Play Off Each Other
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Such an interesting interview. It help me a lot. 

Prospector

Thank you!  Very Informative, enjoyable and lots of ideas to follow up!

Prospector

Thanks for organizing this, Beth. Good food for thought.

Blogger

Excellent advice Tom, and thanks for sharing with us!

Blogger

thank you all!!

 

Prospector

Is there a way to download and listen to this later this evening?

Prospector

Beth, last point is that any good team or business keeps their eyes open, and reads AllAnalytics often, to learn more about possible innovations in analytics!

@RaleighBanker -- thanks for tuning in and participating!

Blogger

Thanks!  Nicely done.

Prospector

Thank you Tom and Beth

Prospector

The financial component of High School athletics is getting more and more difficult to manage.  the state of PA requires every school with athletics for grades 7 -12 to report publicly every dollar raised and spent on athletics and it has to be broken down by Gender, Sport, Season, and level (7th grade, 8th grade, freshman, JV and varsity),  thats over 1000 school reporting over 2.9 million dollars in spending.

Prospector

Tom and Beth, thank you for another great and informative presentation.

Prospector

jcwjcw1, there is some of that in terms of simulations in baseball--usually using Monte Carlo-time simulation programs--and exploring various combinations of players in basketball.

Ok, thanks Tom!

Prospector

Tom, any last thoughts to share with the audience?

Blogger

if you were to give one last piece of advice to an undergraduate majoring in applied mathematics and who is interested in sports analytics what would it be?

 

Prospector

nehemiah, I think it would be the focus on people (players in sports, employees in business). Sports teams are really much beyond businesses in this regard.

Tom. Thanks for a great presentation. It's obvious that you're onto a subject area that a lot of people care about.

Editor

Unfortunately there are some of those out there too.

Prospector

Is there any role for 'what if' analysis in sports?  Certainly on the business side, but does it impact training or off-season work at all for the players?

Prospector

Hi everybody, as we're approaching the top of the hour, please submit your last questions for Tom now.

Blogger

Tom: Also, in your experience, what would you say is the most influential take-away that businesses can learn from the sports industry concerning their use of data analytics?  What strategic areas of the business would you say most companies suffer due to ineffective use of data analytics?

Prospector

RaleighBanker, yes I saw those clubs in Friday Night Lights!

Tom, most schools have booster clubs with passes "purchased" for seasons or individual sports at a discount over the gate price. 

Prospector

@nehemiah - But no answer yet.... but it shouldn't be too difficult to work something out. Just need time, analytics, patience and algorithms

Prospector

Beth, Yes, Major League Soccer has already agreed to implement GPS sensors league-wide. I think that the concussion sensors will be mandated in the NFL soon.

Yes, many schools sell season passes for all atheltic events and there are vendor dedicated to tools and materials to manane them.

Prospector

Tom -- or analyze which sells better in the concession stand, popcorn or peanuts.

Blogger

Couple of summers ago. MITSLoan Quarterly put out "Is Decision-Based Evidence Making Necessarily Bad?" by 

Peter M. Tingling and Michael J. Brydon. They did a good job categorizing three different types of decisions that  be made and what types of decisions are bettere served by analytics. Would be interesting to apply this approach to seeing what decisions are better corroborated with analytics or not

Prospector

wileyriley, Project Oxygen was on what makes for a good manager. Google has been criticized for discovering the obvious, but it was a worthwhile project in my view.

Tom, re: sensors -- do you think we'll start seeing leagues making rules about their use? Ie, forcing all teams to use sensors and collect and analyze the data or mandating that they can't be used as they might provide unfair advantage?

Blogger

Tom, thanks for sharing your insights. Do you think business can benefit from performance metrics in sports. At least, in sports, there is a better tie between what an individual does and a measurable result. It doesn't appear as easy in business, where measures are not objective, or cannot easily be tied back to one of several variables that may themselves be not very measurable.

 

Blogger

RaleighBanker, are there season ticket holders for high school sports yet? If so, you could cultivate them for more revenue.

Yes. In my discussions with my high school clients they are getting more and more pressure to fund sports themselves.  Many public schools have gone to "pay to play" models and at the trade shows that I attend for high school sport an increasing number of vendors are there promoting all kinds of way "raise funds for you program"  99% of high school ADs have no business background and are now tasked with running one.

Prospector

@The Refractor: Thanks!

Prospector

NY Times had an interesting article on 'Project Oxygen: Building a better manager" a few years back

Prospector

@The Refractor -- for more on Google & hiring analytics, see a piece we posted a month or so ago: Google Gets Proactive With HR Analytics & Strategy

Blogger

Tom,


A good start, but the real application would be how it pans out once they have been hired.

3M seem to be looking at creativity and innovativeness of some of their employees through no.s of patents/ research papers

Prospector

wileyriley, I don't know, there is already a lot of competition in the sports analytics space--at least in particular sports! My primary interest is in what businesses can learn from it.

I think LeagueMinder's question applied more to revenue derived from High School sports as opposed to individual sport's and player's statistics.  I see that as a concern in NC these days too as I have an affiliation with High School sports in this state.

Prospector

Tom, do you plan on writing a 'Competing on Sports Analytics' in the near future?

Prospector

Beth, I agree with your reservations. But I think very soon we will have good metrics of whether people got concussions or not. Conspiracy theorists say that the sensors are already available--the NFL and other leagues just don't want to know.

Good point, Beth. I can envision parents and "advisors" preparing stats packages on kids to send to colleges just as they started doing with video some years ago.

Editor

The Refractor, GOOG uses analytics to identify the factors in potential hires that are historically correlated with high performance. "Taking initiative" is highly correlated--good grades and SAT scores in college not correlated at all. I wrote about this in a Harvard Business Review article called "Competing on Talent Analytics"

Beth. I suggest that Chicago fans adopt the historical saying of the Red Sox fans (prior to 2004). "Wait til next year"

Editor

Brilliant question, Nehemiah!

Prospector

Tom, I have to say I get worried about the use of analytics at the high school, or even grade school, level. Parents especially can be quite fanatical and who knows what they'd do to help boost their child's performance statistics. Let alone the kids themselves -- "No, coach, my head doesn't hurt a bit after I took that elbow to the skull. I'm perfectly fine and ready to play some more!"

Blogger

nehemiah, I know there are teams that assess things like fan experience--the Patriots are big users, for example. But I have not heard of teams using a balanced scorecard.

Tom,

 Can you give a bit more detail about Google's use of analytics for determining high performing employees/ teams?

Prospector

Do you know if professional sports teams use the balanced scorecard approach in conjunction with data analytics to not only assess the performance of how their teams are performing, but also with things such as fan experience, trade negotiations, contract rules and regulations, etc.?

Prospector

Thank you,

This was very informative.

Prospector

ssekar, Ok, I see what you mean. But the Celts have had an analytics guy for many years--Mike Zarren is his name.

LeagueMinder, I don't really know that much about high school use, and I have mixed feelings about encouraging it. But in every sport there are good books. I like Mathletics by Wayne Winston, for example. Mostly about basketball.

@Jamescon -- I want an algorithm that tells me when the Chicago Cubs will break out of their decades-long doldrums

 

Blogger

 

Tom,

Drew Cannon worked for Brad Stevens at Butler.  Headline from the Globe piece soon after Stevens was hired:

Drew Cannon, 23, bringing analytics to Celtics

Prospector

Jamescon, as of last night the Red Sox are no longer in last place! And we have won five in a row!

engmann, Supposedly the German soccer team looked at a lot of video analytics about the Brazil team. they also used analytics to speed up their own game and shorten the time of each individual possession dramatically.

Does anyone have an algorithm explaining how my Red Sox went from last to first and back to last in 24 months?

Editor

ssekhar, Yes, the Celts hired Brad Stevens as coach, and yes he is analytical. But he is 38, not 23. 

Great comments....   Thanks!    This event is for a professional football team, so lots of folks go, of all ages. 

This will be the first event like this of it's kind and we hope to get lots of interest, but the experts say that poor data makes poor mobile apps.  

As far as business opportunity, yes.. for those folks that do this for a living.  I'm a software developer and community leader putting on a fun event that's attracting some interest to growing tech talent in our area. 

Again, email me to be part of this first-ever event for an NFL team...   

 

Tom.. ANY INTEREST IN ATTENDING OR HELPING?

 

Let me know how we can help get others interested...

 

Prospector

Same Rugby owners studied world cup use of GPS but could not discern how the Germans really used it to beat Brazil 7-1 

Prospector

Tom,

Thank you very much.  I work directly with High School Athletic Directors accros the county I think some the information you presented woudl be very useful for them as they more and more need to look at their athletic programs as a business.  A larger and larger portion of their budgets needs to come from generated revenue rather than school budgets.  Are there any resources you would recommend that I could share with the High School athletic community?

Prospector

Jamescon, yes, luck plays a big role in sports. All you can do is go with models and trends from past data, and hope that you increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. No way to guarantee it, obviously.

There was a question earlier about Butler U basketball using analytics.  Yes.  They did.  Boston Globe had an article recently.  Former coach is now coaching the Celtics.  Celtics have hired a 23-year old analytics expert from Butler.  

Prospector

@WileyRiley

Cheers for the link.

Re: horse racing, imagine being able to adjust during the race with in ear feedback, brings up all kinds of issues.

Prospector

Tom:

I highly recommend you look at Rugby, in particular in Australia. The business model there has three entities:

 

1) Players/Compettiton

2) Facilities/ Fans/ Corporate Sponsors/ Clubs/Pubs

3) Real Estate Development around the stadium.

 

Analytics are unique to each level of "investment"

 

Currently, some owners are studying the NBA since it has been recently featured in newscasts about the success of teams like Spurs ( for investing in proven foreign players) and the one-on-one match-ups with the Maverricks.

Prospector

Tom, I'm curious about the randomness factor in sports vs business. Of course, business has factors like unforeseen competitors, economic conditions, and even weather that impact what happens after decisions are made using analytics. However, sports would seem to be even more at the mercy of random events, such as a bad hop or a change in wind

Editor

jhiroshima, I would definitely start by attending the MIT Sports Analytics conference--and the growing number of other conferences. If nothing else you will see how many competitors you have! Also try to learn something about video analytics--it is a fast-growing field, and few know anything about it.

LeagueMinder--I haven't heard much about teams or leagues resisting analytics for the reason of ruining the game--the NFL has been very conservative in the past about whether coaches can use computers on the field, etc.--but they are starting to loosen things up a bit

@The Refractor, IBM's key to the match seems to take tennis analytics to the next level.

http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/infographic/keys-match-ibm-big-data-and-analytics-powering-predictions

Prospector

I know you said that you should run the other way, but if you are willing to perservere and pursue, what might be the best way to get your foot in the door?

 

Prospector

Welcome to the chat, Tom. Nice presentation

Editor

Analytics is already used in horse racing via speed figures, e.g., byer, ragozin, thorograph, etc.

It is also extensively used in breeding via dosage, true nicks, etc.

Prospector

Where can folks learn more about teams' efforts to implement dynamic pricing?

Prospector

wileyriley, I am sure that people use analytics to pick winners in horse racing, but I know nothing about the topic!

Wiley, a lot of people would ask the same question about horse racing

Editor

dan.1--secondary markets for tickets--e.g. Stubhub--were a big factor in teams and leagues either partnering with secondary providers or forming their own dynamic and variable pricing approaches

 

Is this the right chat window for teh live chat?

 

Prospector

Tom: is there a place for analytics in horse racing?  Assuming that analytics are used to create the handicaps, how can analytics be used to gain an advantage?

Prospector

@wileyriley - babolat

But that's history. An advance would tell you how to correct your game. May be this is a business opportunity? Are you listening @Apisoft

Prospector

Thanks, very interesting.

Prospector

Tom. This question came in earlier. Thoughts?

The player analytics of baseball has dramatically changed the game.  In todays game the over specialiaztion of pitchers, the increse use of the field shift, and decreased used of the bunt.  Has there been any comments or disussion from the the other major sports that the use of analytics could be delayed over the fear of changing their game?

Prospector
Editor

@Apisoftware its all about knowing how they are consuming the product in-arena?  Who are they bringing to the games?  (kids, clients, date night) and then personalize that expereince through mobile offers.

Prospector

We are hosting the 2nd annual Basketball Analytics Summit this spring 2015. Send an email to kisport@unc.edu to get on our listserv. http://kisport.unc.edu  (UNC-Chapel Hill) More intimate setting - focused on BASKETBALL. SAS was represented last year too. dstro@unc.edu

Prospector

What are the preferred brands/products, by what software vendors.  we use a lot of hyperion, obiee, SAP Bobj, Microstrategy, crystal, ibm cognos, msft bi... and home grown proprietary solutions. 

 

Prospector

@The Refractor, apparently it's smart enough to identify when points are one or lost, if a first service went in (based on time between hits and type of hit), amount of topspin or backspin

Prospector

Please stick around for the direct chat

Editor

Fun event. Great questions, everyone.

Editor

How do I win my fantasy football league this year?

Prospector

How are teams using secondary ticket pricing to inform their dynamic pricing?

Prospector

Thanks for all the links.  Very interesting....

How can sports analytics change the experience for the fan by giving them additional data or resources?  We'd like to do somehting that differentiates the in-stadium experience...   Any ideas?  

We would love help from expertst that want to participate on this free mashup of mobile for the fans with data to enhance the user's expereince. 

If interested, Let me know...

apisoftware@live.com

 

Prospector

Host is asking some excellent questions to Tom.  Congratulations!

Prospector

Tom and Beth should be joining the text chat in a few minutes when the audio portion wraps up.

Editor

the Sun's has a staff of 5 doing advanced analytics.

Prospector

@wileyriley - babolat

What can you do with the data that is collected about your tennis swing? Do you get some kind of coaching aoftware with it?

Prospector

I think I remember that Butler University pioneered analytics in college basketball.  Is that correct?

Prospector

On amateur side of tennis, babolat's pure drive play racquet is interesting, apparently it collects data based on swings.

Prospector

We have an event with mobile developers and a sports team.  The team says they will give us whatever data we want. 

How do we determine what data to ask for?

It's a free event, but I'd love help from experts that know how to do this

apisoftware@live.com

 

 

Prospector

Jamescon, yes beyond hawkeye, such as heatmapping player locations.

Prospector

The player analytics of baseball has dramatically changed the game.  In todays game the over specialiaztion of pitchers, the increse use of the field shift, and decreased used of the bunt.  Has there been any comments or disussion from the the other major sports that the use of analytics could be delayed over the fear of changing their game?

Prospector

@wileyriley. Are you thinking of tennis using sensors beyond the ball in/out sensors?

Editor

How about amateur sports ( academies) like swimming, golf, tennis, soccer)?

Prospector

What are your thoughts on value of analytics in tennis?  I think I recall seeing that they are increasingly using sensors to collect data, seems like some good opportunity to gain new and more powerful insights.

Prospector

and donnie nelson jr is a proponent of analytics (GM)

Prospector

how were analytics used during the world cup? did it help any teams advance further

Prospector

If Tom doesn't get to your questions during the audio, feel free to repeat them when he joins the text chat.

Editor

Can you comment on the role and use of analytics in elite amateur sports at the national/international level - eg. Olympic teams, National competitive sports programs, or managing govenrment investment in elite sports development?  Are any particular sports more amenable to an analytics approach to managing injury recovery, player selection/development, training, and competitive readiness?

Prospector

Tom, 

Do you see employment oportunities increasing in sports? Also, how would people prepare themselves for these roles.

Prospector

Are there metrics on the increase in success due to teams using analytics?

Prospector

giving up

 

Prospector

Is Ryan Coulter going to be the guest speaker?

Prospector

Aah, success with Chrome.  Too bad for MSFT.  Great topic.  Look forward to the QA then replay. 

 

Prospector

@Engmann. Could you provide an example?

Editor

It would be good to stiudy what type of decisions are best served by analytics exclusively, versus having analytics supporting management decisions. 

Prospector

I just tried chrome, it works.

Prospector

Chrome tends to work best. I have good luck with Firefox

Editor

Are there business anayltics lessons the High Schools could leverage as more and more they are trying to fund athletics through fundraisng efforts as school budgets continue to cut funding for sports?

 

Prospector

It's delivered through BTR but should be available just here on A2.

Editor

I heard nothing logged in via Internet Explorer but when I logged in via Google Chrome I hear the audio now.

Prospector

I don't hear anything either.

Prospector

The live chat is working. Try 1) refresh and then 2) reboot, if necessary. I am using Chrome.

 

Prospector

Audio cut out right after the comment about the Black Hawks, and never came back on.

Prospector

I don't hear anything either

Prospector

Is there a dial in number?

 

Prospector

@jamescon: do you know if this only a BTR stream or is it being published live for all users?

Prospector

Let's talk Dynamic Pricing!

 

Prospector

what browser, peerapong?

 

Editor

I did tons of refresh but still cannot hear anything???

Prospector

Don't hear anything. Is this on?

Prospector

Tom...hockey's Edmonton Oilers are getting quite heavily involved in analytics and even have an analytics team that advises along side scouts and personnel. Bruins too, I believe?

Prospector

Audio blanked out for some users. A refresh seems to help

Editor

Can we listen to this on Blog Talk Radio?

Prospector

I don't hear anything either.

Prospector

Has it already started?

Prospector

I clicked on "Listen Now" but cannot hear anything???

 

Prospector

Whats going on?  Have you started?  using Explorer, the audio player is going to automatically load? when?

 

Prospector

@dstroman. Typically available in archive within 24 hours

Editor

Not so unusual for analytics to be voice only--I've done lots of these kinds of events before. Visual examples I'm sure can be linked in if necessary during the discussion chat. 

 

Prospector

Will this chat be available after the live recording?

Prospector

For this I switched my lunch hour?  Pretty crappy execution.

Prospector

refreshing worked

Prospector

Refresh your browser and the audio will reconnect

 

Prospector

I cannot hear anything

 

Prospector

@Mavery, the editor on the chat is a Bruins fan

Editor

reload and click play

 

Prospector

Just go back out and go back in if you lost audio

Prospector

back :) refresh

Prospector

Refresh of the page and I got the audio back

Prospector

I can't hear anything either.

 

Prospector

no audio for me either - it stopped

Prospector

I lost the audi

 

Prospector

Audio not working for me

Prospector

refresh fixed

Prospector

See what talking about the Blackhawks will get ya!

Prospector

Lost audio. System is trying to reset, but no audio yet.

Prospector

there is not audio 

Prospector

It stopped for me too. Reloaded and I'm back in

Editor

my audio stopped too :(

 

Prospector

The audio has stopped working

 

Prospector

is it working for you?

 

Prospector

Lost feed at 02:10

 

Prospector

audi stopped

Prospector

One of the things that intrigues me about sports analytics is that even with all of the data on hand there still are instances where a manager/coach has to go with their gut.

Editor

Odd that a presentation on analytics is audio-only.  Surely the discussion can benefit from visual examples?

Prospector

Hi everyone :) looking forward to this discussion!

Prospector

Welcome everyone. If you have questions for Tom I can relay them to Beth.

Editor

Got my sandwich ready...looking forward to this lunch n learn!

Prospector

Hi everyone! Nice topic. I've used Moneyball as an example myself many times.

 

Blogger

Hello Everyone! Looking forward to this discussion!

Prospector

Good night in GMT-5 !

Prospector

Good morning everyone! 

Prospector

@LaCapp. Good question, one I haven't seen before let me check.

Editor
Hi, I'm on the road. Is there an audio dial in #. Or will this work in my iPhone via the link? Thanks
Prospector

Looking forward to chatting with everybody after the broadcast!

The words Sports and Business Analytics caught my attention.  Looking forward to this too.

Prospector

Hi all. I'm looking forward to today's conversation with Tom Davenport. The audio will begin at the top of the hour. Watch for the player to appear in the window above. 

Blogger

Welcome, early birds. If you have questions for Tom now or during the audio portion, I'll be happy to relay them to him.

Editor

Looking forward to this !  Should be informative and interesting.

Prospector

Morning to all!

Prospector

 

Good morning.

 

Prospector

No confirmation e-mail with link?

Prospector

Hello, I guess I'm the 1st.  Looking forward to this presentation.

Prospector


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