From Business Analytics to Sports Analytics

Before I started analyzing data for sports betting I have worked as a Business Intelligence (BI) consultant in different industries. During this time I learned how Business Analytics helps you to improve your business performance by analyzing data. This also helped me to understand, what’s needed to improve the performance of a sports team or the betting performance of a punter with the help of data.

What’s Business Analytics?

Business Intelligence helps you to measure the performance of your business and business processes based on KPIs. But this view on data is always related to the past. Business Intelligence just analyzes what happened in the past. Business Analytics goes one step further. Based on insights from the past, predictive analytics is used to determine insights about a possible future. This knowledge helps you to create recommendations to improve the actual business.

So Business Analytics provides you the possibility to make data-driven decisions and improve specific processes or you overall business. Retail companies for example can use Business Analytics to improve their stock prediction for products. This helps to increase the availability of high-demand products and in parallel reduce the storage costs. Saving costs and improving the customer satisfaction helps a company to get an edge over their competitors.

From Business Analytics to Sports Analytics

Sports teams always also try to get an edge in the competition by improving single aspects of a team. So Business Analytics methodologies can be used for Sports Analytics. Baseball was one of the first sports, which used data and statistics for Sports Analytics. The following pictures shows how insights from data are used to optimize the player positioning.

Based on huge number of hits, it’s possible to describe the historic positions of hits in the strike zone and the direction of the ball after the hit. That’s the descriptive part of Sports Analytics. This data and insights can be used to build a predictive model for future bettor and pitcher combinations to determine the possible ball trajectories. This brings us to the prescriptive part of Sport Analytics. Based on the predictions the coach is able to adjust the player positioning and make recommendations. The decisions of the coach and the player get data-driven.

From Business Analytics to sports betting

Getting from sports analytics to sports betting is just a small step. Both disciplines mainly differ in the prescriptive part. Descriptive and predictive analytics are used to analyse specific aspects of a sport. Let it be the strike zone in baseball or the shot locations in football. Prescriptive Analytics provides different kind of recommendations. Sports Analytics tries to optimize the player or team behavior. Sports betting tries to identify undervalued bets in the market and optimize the betting result.

The methodical exploration of sports data in the same way I do Business Analytics during my daily business helped me to establish a data-driven betting selection. But you should never mistake data for the holy grail. Data is just tool offering the possibility to make informed, non-biased decisions.

If you have further questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact me @Mo_Nbg

Sources:
https://www.mastersindatascience.org/resources/what-is-business-analytics/
https://www.educba.com/data-analytics-vs-predictive-analytics/

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/oct/02/has-baseball-analytics-killed-the-art-of-hitting

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