Big data changes perception of sports
Decision-makers wondering exactly what big data analytics can do for their fields can observe its effect on the way researchers are looking at sports. According to Wired, analysis of reams of unstructured data from NBA games holds a new way to think about player positioning in basketball.
According to the source, Muthu Alagappan, a Stanford University student with an internship at a data visualization firm, decided to find connections between NBA players. His data places players into 13 groups distinct from the normal division of guards, forwards and centers. The similarity ratings between players could be used to predict player potential and improve coach decisions.
The process of unstructured data mining has caught on in recent years, with companies in several industries doing for their operations what Alagappan has done for basketball. The potential to draw unexpected connections between objects can transform efficiency.
Nor is basketball the only sport where data analytics is making a difference. According to the BBC, U.K. rugby team the Leicester Tigers has adopted an advanced predictive analytics program to help avoid player injuries. The system will project risk in the team's fitness operations, using statistics from the team's on-the-field performance to draw accurate predictions of when the chance for injury is greatest.