Saturday, July 2, 2011

Initial Poll Results

As data starts to arrive from the entirely unscientific poll posted below, one result jumps out immediately. The very first question of the poll asks which area within analytics will have the biggest impact on teams. The choices offered were: Collecting new data, better data management, new metrics, integration of statistical analysis in decision making, and better information systems for decision makers. In writing that question I had imagined that the "new metrics" answer would be fairly popular. That is the area that draws most practitioners initially, as it is the use of statistical tools to measure and learn about a sport. The results did not at all match that expectation.

The chart above indicates that integration of analysis and better information systems are the areas that the respondents felt would have the biggest impact, while none of them selected new metrics. What this result suggests (and again, this was hardly a rigorous poll) is that the area of analytics that is perceived to be the biggest area of growth is finding ways to help decision makers use the analysis that has already been done. This can take the form of better reporting, more in depth conversation, better explanations, and/or better information systems (that put the decision makers in control of the analysis to some degree), to name a few.

Still time to take the poll if you have not already.


  1. When NFL coaches are still punting and kicking nearly as often on 4th downs as they were 10-15 years ago despite much well-documented and widely-publicized research indicating that they are much too conservative in these situations, it's hard to imagine that new metrics or better data would be eagerly accepted by decision makers, at least in football.

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