Analyzing the NFL’s Big Data

by Angela Guess

Derrick Harris of GigaOM reports, “When it comes to using data to determine how to build a team or manage a game, the National Football League appears years behind its professional sports brethren such as Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. But perhaps the increasing popularity of machine learning can change that by helping NFL teams make more sense of their very complex datasets. Delving deep into the world of computer science might sound like overkill, but professional football is big business in America, and an analytic edge off the field might be just as important as athletic or strategic edges on the field. Heck, it might help create them.”

Harris continues, “The New York Times highlights the current state of statistical reliance among NFL teams in an article on Sunday. The  NYT’s Judy Battista reports that teams are finally beginning to hire statisticians and take statistical analysis seriously in limited areas — but there’s always a disclaimer. Football is such a variable-rich and complex game, her sources claim, that the human eye and human intuition will always be best at assessing certain things.”

Read more here.

photo credit: NFL

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