Analytics and big data have potential in many industries, but they are on the cusp of scoring major points in sports. From coaches and players to front offices and businesses, analytics can make a difference in scoring touchdowns, signing contracts or preventing an injuries.
Coaches, players and the leading minds in sports came together to discuss the potential of analytics and big data last week at the 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. Here are eight ways data analytics can improve efficiency, accuracy and profitability in sports. Who knows? Big data may even eliminate blown calls one day.
In baseball, Pitchf/x technology from Sportvision has been installed in all 30 Major League Baseball Stadiums to track pitches during games. Sportvision has a suite of other technologies for baseball, football and motor sports. However, nothing has replaced the judgment calls umpires have to make at the plate in real-time, says Hank Adams, CEO of Sportvision. “Sportvision technology is being adapted to use for referees and umpires. We can very accurately determine if something is a strike or a ball.”
For now, umpires still rely on the naked eye to call a strike or ball and until the technology or baseball rules evolve, catchers like Jose Molina will still be able to game the system.