Thursday, March 27, 2014

Just putting it out there - random thoughts on the Sports Analytics Innovation Summit in London

  • It's great to see so many people working on so many different sports related topics - youth development, from youth development over health related issues to on field and PR strategy
  • The 'driving on the left side' thing is going to kill me one day
  • I think I now know the 'Data Analytics pyramid' by heart. More or less Data -> Information -> Knowledge -> Wisdom. Was probably the most repeated phrase of the weekend. But is in my opinion not the most important general truth
  • In my opinion most important truth was brought to us by Bill Gerrard (imagine the Scottish version of Billy Beane ;) ): Big data can give you the correlation, but small data gives you conclusions
  • To put it in my own terms. I think that a lot of people think that big data gives us the answers. At least in sports, big data is much better suited to lead you to more specific questions
  • Honestly, one day I will look to my left, start to cross the road - and then one of those red busses runs me over
  • The amount and detail of data that is gathered is pretty amazing
  • The information that we get out of the data (at least what is shown) is still pretty basic
  • Rugby teams are now capable to measure the forces that happen during each contact
  • But they surely won't give that information to the public
  • Speaking of health: Injury prevention is probably the most important case where sharing the data would be essential - it's a shame that it doesn't happen
  • The organization of the conference is impeccable
  • But the food was definitely better last year
  • The panel talk on Wednesday was great. Good to see that the leading heads of the field have a humble opinion about the state of the industry
  • Arsenal's Emirate stadium is great at walking on the thin line between memorabilia and kitsch
  • I have the impression the crowd was bigger last year - but that may be the shape of the conference room
  • UK Olympic committee's spending profile 'go big or go home'
  • I think the national Basketball team is not happy about this 
That's it for now. The state of big data in Sports seems to be somewhat similar to what I experience in biology: 'low input, high throughput, low output'.
Which is understandable. There is a sh*tload of data collected (the throughput). So, now that the data is there, the brain input can get increased so that we finally get the output we want.

Hope everybody had a good time in London. Hope I won't get run over by a bus on my way back to Switzerland.


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