Thursday, February 05, 2015

Big Data and Management: Why I love Basketball

For the people that knows me well, I am a basket ball fan. I have been playing the sport since I am 10. I like the fact that even though you may have great individual performances that may allow you to win any games (if you are good enough though), it is impossible to win championship without a true understanding of what a team is. 

Also, something I love about the sport is how stats matters, and how you can analyze one team performance by its datas. Here is an example of how people may use data in order to analyze what goes on court.

Actually, the best coaches are the ones that can master the stats, in order to perceive potential weaknesses of the team. But data don't pile up. It is not because you have 2 forwards that average 10 rebounds you will have 20 rebounds in the end. The real art of coaching is able to understand the issues via data, and then to translate it as a coach in words in order to manage people and give them the tools to improve and deliver results.

This is the reason why premium teams with premium casts did not win any titles. Among others:

  • 2003 Lakers: Karl Malone, O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton...
  • 2012 Lakers: Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol...
Chemistry has a big part, and understand how egoes and styles of play may fit in a group.

As a manager, that is what you should pay attention to:
  • Analyze data, being able to forecast how adjustment may impacts your results
  • But also be a leader, understand the human nature of a team.