Key Business Lessons from Analytics in Sports

Before Michael Lewis’ 2003 book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, most people weren’t familiar with sports analytics. The book chronicled the 2002 Oakland Athletics baseball team and its GM Billy Beane’s analytic approach for assembling a competitive team on a tight budget. Today, it’d be difficult to find a pro sports team that does not have an analytics department or analytic experts on staff.

Sports analytics, like business analytics, will continue to evolve. With an ever-expanding surplus of information, it’s increasingly difficult for organizations to decide where to focus their efforts to deliver meaningful results. Here are three key lessons from sports analytics that can benefit your business.

Data and Metrics: Too Much of a Good Thing?

In professional sports, the supply of data and analytical tools far outweighs the demand. New data sources and the various ways to acquire it, like slow-motion video capture, wearable GPS devices, and fitness trackers, are being developed and released at ever-increasing rates. But just because it’s available, doesn’t mean it’s useful. Determining which metrics have the best effects on business performance remains the more challenging task.

Analyze the Team, Not Just the Individual

Professional baseball pioneered sports analytics because it was easy to measure the performance of individual players on the field. Yet baseball, like a business, is a team sport. Success depends on both individual performance and the overall performance of the group. Variations on this type of analysis can be applied to businesses when you use metrics to identify bottlenecks, measure efficiency, and increase accountability across key departments and personnel.

Success Depends on Strategic Partnerships

Professional sports teams around the world partner with expert data, analytic software, and hardware providers to help them succeed. Choosing the right advisory team can mean the difference between simply spinning your wheels and actually growing your business.

With over 25 years’ experience consulting with industry-leading companies, Talley LLP and our affiliate Group 11 Advisors are committed to providing clear, knowledgeable and applicable financial data and analysis solutions, enabling management to intelligently track performance, progress and profits. To determine whether your business is taking advantage of all the metrics available to make the most informed decisions for future success, schedule a time to talk with us today.