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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Information Management: Up to Bat for Business, Sports Big Data Strikes Out

Moneyball for Business? Not happening quite yet:

I, too, am pulled in by black-and-white sports applications of deep-dive analytics. What’s not to like about the idea that any small-market business could have as much insight and reach as the massive enterprise competition? (Although, truthfully, as a fan of the lowly Buffalo Bills, another recent analytic convert, I’d consider a pact with the netherworld at this point to get my team into a meaningful late-season game.)

But where’s the analytic use case by a plucky southern U.S. NHL team that overcomes the quality issues with its metadata to truly define its die-hard fan base and keep the team from pulling up stakes? Or the second-tier Premier League squad that finds the best analytic confluence between sales figures, supply chain data and their legacy ERP system? You know, the win over the dirty daily business problems, needs and investments.

Assuredly, there are solid examples tucked in the conference lineups at MIT Sloan’s celebrated sports conference and the growing body of similar events, or rolled out ahead of the “big game.” Huge sporting events open opportunities for social media connections and analytic ROI, like IBM’s annual U.S. Open initiative. A few years ago, the Dallas Cowboys gave us a peek into their innovative real-time merchandise sales metrics. One of our “25 Top Information Managers of 2012” was Anthony Perez at the NBA’s Orlando Magic, who was harnessing predictive models not to winnow his team’s poorest free-throw shooters, but for the business-minded perspective of who was likely to return as a season ticket holder, and how to market to those different ticket buyers and sellers on a cutthroat secondary market.

These are the ways toward clear conversion of the showy potential with professional sports’ application of analytics into the wider enterprise IT implementation and business-side discussion. While they may not bring forth the blockbuster Hollywood promise – which one of your favorite Forrester or Ventana analysts will be played by Brad Pitt?!? – I see these transferable uses as holding the most, big score business potential.

Mike Emeigh Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: analytics, sabermetrics

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   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4424789)
As one who was working in the then-soon-to-be panacea of Data Warehousing 15-18 years ago, I am very dubious that Big Data will live up to the hype. Computing power must be 1000x what it was and storage is in the gazillion bytes, maybe it's time that real-time decision making will be enabled for breakthrough business practices. We'll see.

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