MM019 – “Moneyball”: Is this an Analytics Story?
Moneyball is a 2011 biographical sport drama, nominated for six Academy Awards and telling the successful story of the Oakland Athletics general manager, Billy Beane. He faces a deep budget cut, so is not sure to be able to assemble a team for the next season. This unexpected situation forces Billy to bring out all his inventiveness and to review his strategies.
Until then players selection was based mainly on subjective aspects, as talent scouts’ opinions, and secondly on other objective aspects, such as their points-per-game ratio collected in previous seasons.
During that time the ‘sabermetric’, anapplication of statistical analysis on data about players, matches and teams, is going to spread in the pitch . Billy therefore decides to assemble a staff who apply these studies and use objective criteria to identify players having lower engagement costs, but same skills of better-paid athletes. This strategy led to focus on aspects that were not considered before, such as OBP (on base percentage), the measure of how often a batter reaches a base for reasons different from an error or a fielder’s choice.
In 2002 the result was an amazing winning streak of 20 victories. Unfortunately, it won’t be enough to reach the playoff. Two years later the Boston Red Sox will win the World Series using a strategy based on Billy Beane’s analytics, thus constituting a turning point for decision-making in sport field.
Nowadays sabermetric has become essential for any professional team, as well as an Opensource Database available to everyone and capable to collect all possible data about matches.
Each real company can rely on analytics to get strategic information and grow business.
Do you really need any other reason to invest in Analytics?