It’s a great day in sports analytics! Today I’m going to briefly discuss data science methods and the role they play in sports.
The use of data science in sports is growing. We have seen some examples in the soccer, basketball, the Olympic games, national and international competitions and the list goes on. This is because data science and sports analytics are opening new data points and project insights.
What is Data Science?
Data Science is a broad term in which scientific methods, mathematics, statistics and other tools are applied to datasets to extract knowledge and insights. Essentially, data science makes use of multifaceted tools to deal with Big Data and get useful information from it.
Analytical sports data vary depending on the use case. Many teams use social network trackers to detect signs of fan dissatisfaction, in order to stay in touch with fan needs and habits.
Data Science in the NBA
In the NBA, player tracking tools are used to track where players pass and shoot the ball, how they behave in offensive and defensive situations and the probability that they will succeed or fail. The teams that process their data most effectively tend to win. It is no accident that the Golden State Warriors, who integrate daily into their daily decision making, are one of the most successful teams in history.
Improvement of the fan experience
This kind of public relations approach can allow teams to get through controversies and keep their fans happy. For example, Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga in Germany has a permanent agreement with SAP to handle global efforts to monitor the management of fans. The next time you complain online about a big trade or a bond issue for a new stadium, the team may be listening a little closer to what you might expect.
How the data science is being used: Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is highly valued for teams that collect a lot of data, as it gives them more information to take into account when making their decisions, such as player acquisitions and draft selections. Smart organizations understand that they should look at every situation from as many angles as possible, especially when making important decisions. This way new metrics and data points can be consistently generated, which allows teams to obtain as much information and insight into their opponents and team habits.
Science and data technology are now playing an increasingly important role in player perception. ESPN, for example, is one of many groups that create their own statistical models designed to identify which players have the best chances of succeeding at the next level, and/or which players are the best fit for a team.
Data Science really began to expand its profile and exploration in basketball after the introduction of Synergy Sports Technology. Synergy Sports Technology is a service that collects videos and statistics and compiles it into a database that is easily accessible and easy to use.
Through the tools developed by Synergy Sports Technology, you can track statistics down to the minute and then immediately access the relevant play and assess the player and/or team’s actions. This means that scouts are easily able to read the efficiency with which a player drives with his or her left hand, and then see clips of them executing that play.
Predictions of players
On the other hand, ESPN has developed a model that aims to project the possibilities of a player to become a star of the sport.
The ESPN model tries to project the Plus-Minus Statistics of a player to predict player value when on the court. There are many other groups that make similar models, and all of them add to the discussion of data science and it’s potential.
Ultimately, the science of data and sports analytics has spread and the exploration process for NBA teams is one of the many key examples. Increasingly, teams rely on these methods to help their scouting departments obtain more information about individual perspectives.
But it is not only the organizations themselves that are entering this field, since the media are integrating more and more metrics and advanced analysis in their coverage project, which in turn influences the participation of the fans with respect to preliminary perspectives.
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