Thursday, February 28, 2013

If you are adding a graph, at least make it meaningful!

Every “analyst” or website believes that they have the latest and greatest approach to analyzing sports statistics.  Recently, Brian Burke posted this entry on his website about the NFL website’s new use of data visualization.  It was not necessarily his article that struck me but the comment made by Ian.  In short, Ian states that we are so focused on visualization that we forget about really looking at the data. Bingo!

When an analyst or website claims to have the best piece of intel or newest statistic, do they really?  Too often I have come across websites that just repeat what every other person already knows – they just have prettier pictures.  Making the pictures interactive doesn’t really add much to the equation either.  With an understanding of pivot tables, “if” statements, or even how to abuse visualization software, anyone could create the latest and greatest data visual. 
I like Ian’s comment because he states that we sometimes forget to “torture the data.”  Let us return to the glory days of developing sabermetrics!  I like the idea of sabermetrics since its main goal is to discover objective knowledge about baseball.  Sabermetrics doesn’t simply take a batting average and plot it 15 different ways.  It looks at the batting average and determines if it truly represents the value of a player or team.  Data is mined, formulas are explored and new ways of valuing players and teams are discovered – this is what makes true analysis!

We, as analysts, need to avoid the trap of displaying simple box score data in cool 6-D plots that no one else has and call it new insight. Although I am all for visual display of data – Brian Burke does an excellent job displaying unique analysis – we need to keep in mind that true analysis comes from really searching the data for new insight. Apply data mining, use machine learning, execute simulations – use whatever mathematical technique it takes to figure out statistically why the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

A Guide to Our Website

Are you a newcomer to Perduco Sports?  Don’t worry, we have you covered.  On this site, you will have the opportunity to explore the work that we perform for professional teams, sports agents, NCAA organizations and the fans.  We apply advanced mathematical techniques to just about any problem related to any sport. 

Our capabilities section displays past or current work we have performed for various organizations in the NBA, MLB and NCAA.  Perduco Sports has redefined scout scheduling by eliminating the burdensome task of determining which games scouts should visit over the entire season while saving their organization time and money.  We have showcased the wondrous power that mathematics possesses in terms of predicting a pitcher’s next pitch type and location on any pitch count.  “Recruiting for Dummies” could be rewritten to incorporate how Perduco Sports has made finding the perfect recruits a simple task.
We at Perduco Sports have not forgotten about the fans!  In time, we will release a fantasy website which will include fantasy insight (for all sports), projections, rankings, and tools.  Our sweet spot will come with the ability for fans to use our highly advanced mathematical techniques on any sports data they wish, turning any fan into a top analyst!  Currently, we are developing algorithms for the start of the 2013-2014 NFL season.  If you are interested in becoming a fantasy football tester, please contact us.

Finally, visit our Game Predictions section for a daily view at Perduco’s picks.  We take the nail biting out of your life by telling you who will win the game before it even happens!  We will make picks based on who will win the game and who will cover the spread.  Our unbelievable accuracies will make you a true believer in Perduco Sports!

Check back often for updates to our projects, blog and game predictions or follow us on Twitter (@PerducoSports). We welcome any and all questions. Enjoy our site!