MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Links

A few weeks ago, the seventh annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was held in Boston. Sports business executives and a few hundred students gathered to discuss the use of analytics in sports. The conference included a number of panels on subjects including Ticketing Analytics and Sports Labor Negotiations in addition to the normal Sports Analytics. Soon videos of the conference panels will be posted to the Sloan Sports Conference website listed below. However until then, check out a few links related to the conference featured below. – A list of the 2013 research paper finalists. I would recommend “The value of flexibility in baseball roster construction” and “Using Zone Entry Data to Separate Offensive, Defensive, and Neutral Zone Performance.” However, if you only have time for one, “Live by the Three, Die by the Three? The Price of Risk in the NBA.” – As far as sports media goes, ESPN is the clear leader in their support for the Sloan Sports Conference. Here is their basic explanation of a few of the research papers listed above. – A number of interesting/humorous quotes from the sports conference. Biggest takeaways; everything Brian Burke says is quotable and the Lakers were the only team in the NBA not to have a representative at the conference. – Zach Slaton reported on the event for Forbes and his thoughts were shared on the MIT Sports Conference main page. Slaton touched on one of the main themes of the conference. The next step is improving the ability to communicate the analytics to the average fan, who as Slaton puts it, “doesn’t have an advanced degree in mathematics.” – This Business Week article interviews an MIT student who helped plan the event. Great insight into how much work and planning goes into an event like this. – Grantland covered the conference heavily as well. A number of videos and interviews from the conference are posted. – Digital Trends did a lengthy write-up on the conference which included a number of interesting data visualizations including the defensive comparison of Larry Sanders vs. David Lee. (Don’t show it to David Lee) – Finally, an article from Andrew Sharp which gives the skeptic’s point of view of the Sloan Conference. Whether you agree with Sharp’s thoughts on the event or not, the article does a good job of highlighting some of the problems with current analytics as well as remind everyone that sports analytics still haven’t been accepted by most sports fans as valuable. There is still a lot of work to be done to get to that point.

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