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MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Highlights


Highlights from the recent MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference: bigger and more corporate than ever, optimizing 3-point shots, analytics pushbacks, Importance of hand size for quarterbacks, and much more.



Here are some highlights
from the recent Evolution of Sport2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, @sloansportsconf, Mar 1-2, 2013, Boston, USA.

Here are Research paper finalists and posters

Some Quick Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Day 1 Thoughts, by @andyblarsen

  • The conference is bigger than ever, with about 2,700 attendees
  • Sponsors "presented" a good portion of the panels, which tended to be much more stiff and formal than their unsponsored counterparts.
  • Goldman and Rao study found that NBA teams are not choosing wisely when to go for 3 points.
  • Almost universally considered the next big evolution in sports stats, XY data from STATS, SportVision, and other companies use cameras and video recognition to track each player's, referee's and ball's location 30 times per second.

2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference liveblog,

  • Moneyball author Michael Lewis was surprised by pushback until he realized that he was potentially costing some people their jobs. Those who don't know or care about analytics can feel very, very threatened by what others feel is wonderful progress.
  • The purpose of so many analytics is grounded in process and skill, not outcomes. As fans, we care mostly about outcomes - wins, etc.
    In analytics you intentionally dig into the grey area when most prefer black and white.

MBA Q&A: The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, BusinessWeek

  • What the conference's more than a thousand annual visitors may not realize is that the event is conceived, planned, and managed by a group of MIT MBA students.

Final Thoughts From The 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference , By Zach Slaton

  • great paper by Dr. Jordet on field vision in soccer was amazing, and the presentation was even better!
  • Day Two of the conference had a few consistent themes that carried over from day one that included data organization, presentation, and visualization. Yet again the emphasis was on ensuring that data visualization was in tune with the intended audience's expectations and experience with the data being presented

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Live: Octagon Founder Phil de Picciotto Says Sports Must Keep Up With Society's Values, NESN

  • how to use analytics to value sports properties - especially in increments of time. PepsiCo has a proprietary model, according to Storms. "Nobody knows our business better than we do," she says. The company uses a multi-stage process to evaluate the impact of any potential sponsorship or endorsement.
  • The 49ers use analytics to better understand the tendencies of coaches - how they manage the clock and when they call time outs

The Analytics of Fighting in Cages, BusinessWeek

  • not kidding ! Fans now have FightMetric stats, which are integrated into UFC broadcasts, to help them try to make sense of it all.

Football, analytics & more from Sloan, ESPN

  • Analytics used mostly for salary cap for Patriots
  • Importance of hand size for quarterbacks in New England

A Few Quick Thoughts on MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Day One, Zach Slaton, Forbes.

  • The theme of the day one panels was certainly data presentation and making data consumable by non-analysts, with an outstanding emphasis on Tufte principles in the Data Visualization panel.
  • Blackjack legend Jeff Ma and Nate Silver encouraged attendees to use gambling and games-of-chance of the legal variety as one of the best training grounds for the use of probabilistic thinking and applied statistics.


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