Friday, September 23, 2011

Data Driven Success in Professional Baseball

An interesting article from Data Center Knowledge about the presentation Paul DePodesta gave at the Strata Summit.  Paul DePodesta is known for bringing mathematic and analytical know-how to Billy Beane and the major league professional baseball team Oakland Athletics.  His story was accounted by Michael Lewis in the book "Moneyball" and is being portrayed with the same name on the big screen opening this weekend.

I really liked this quote from Paul in the article.

We didn’t solve baseball. But we reduced the inefficiency of our decision making.
Is that not the sort of things that an analytical professional or an Operations Researcher ultimately tries to do?   Operations Research is not the art of creating anything new.  It is the art of creating existing things better.  All decision making is inefficient to some point.  Even the right decision can be inefficient on some level.  Decisions are full of balancing acts of constraints and feasibility.

Also this proves that no industry or organization is absent of a need for efficient decision making.  Even baseball can us a dose of improved decision analysis.  Whether is scheduling the league or determining the best pitcher for their value.  Sports has definitely come into their own with decision analytics.  I'm eager to watch Paul's career and wonder if analytics is taking it to the next level.


Andrew Trapp said...

As a Met's fan, here's another video he's done concerning Analytics:

There's talk Paul might be moving to a full GM role this offseason.

Larry said...

Great link. Thanks.