I am a sports junkie – and without shame or fear of reprisal, I admit to regularly scouring the pages of sports magazines and watching ESPN more often than I should. So, in my unapologetic obsession, I do all of the things that people who have unhealthy addictions do. I overindulge.
On one of my recent binges, I came across an article that discussed how the use of analytics (the discovery of meaningful patterns in data) has become an indispensable tool used by most professional sports teams. In no uncertain terms, there is a new complexity to modern day athletics, and the use of analytics has become essential to gaining competitive advantage and for identifying talent. Nearly every major professional sports team is now steeped in the art of predictive analysis – a practice that relies upon the utility of complicated algorithms and statistical models. Together, they have the very specific purpose of foretelling performance outcomes within an anticipated, but very small margin of error.