England’s Manchester City Football Club (soccer to those of us in the US) is taking the Moneyball statistical analytics concept made famous by the Oakland A’s baseball team a step further, by releasing detailed data about the team to the public to try to mirror the success the NBA and MLB have had in the US.
“There are many people in the analytics community right now who have the skills, desire and vision to make a difference in the performance analytics space, people who can add significant value such as Bill James did in baseball,” team officials note when announcing the move. “But those people have no significant data to work with.”
While this move is “essentially unprecedented in the soccer world,” it follows the open-source and crowdsourcing trend of making data open to large groups of people to spur innovation, notes the Atlantic magazine.
“In knowledge discovery in datasets, the major barrier to entry is access to the data,” the article notes. “When corporations, governments or other private firms jealously guard their proprietary data, the number of people playing with the data and trying to discover valuable things . . . will remain small. When data is made public, anyone can put that data to work.”
The most high-profile application of sports analytics – made popular by the movie “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt – has been predicting which professional baseball and basketball players will help their teams be the most successful based on past performances. But now sports leagues are using analytics for labor and contract negotiations, reports InformationWeek.
MLB values people well-versed in statistical analytics over lawyers in contract negotiations, while the NBA and the players’ union rely on their own data experts to negotiate player lock outs like the one in December.
Sports teams aren’t the only organizations that can benefit from relying on data-driven decisions over those fueled by the traditional gut check that executives have relied on for decades.
Erik Brynjolfsson, director at MIT’s Center for Digital Business, who has analyzed 179 large, publicly traded companies, finds that the firms that use big data and analytics to drive decisions are 5% more profitable and productive than their competitors.
“Furthermore, the study found a relationship between this method and other performance measures such as asset utilization, return on equity and market value,” Brynjolfsson notes. “There is a lot of low-hanging fruit for companies that are able to use big data to their advantage.”
- Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on the latest insights and trends in data analytics and big data.
- Check out our complimentary “5-Minute Guide to Business Analytics” to find out how user-driven “analytic” or “data discovery” technologies help business and technology users more quickly uncover insights and speed action.
- To hear how organizations that have adopted in-memory computing can analyze larger amounts of data in less time – and much faster – than their competitors, watch our on-demand webcast, “In-Memory Computing: Lifting the Burden of Big Data,” presented by Nathaniel Rowe, Research Analyst, Aberdeen Group and Michael O’Connell, PhD, Sr. Director, Analytics, TIBCO Spotfire.
- Download a copy of the Aberdeen In-Memory Big Data whitepaper here.