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Analytical techniques and metrics in sport

This is an excerpt from Research Methods and Design in Sport Management-2nd Edition.

By David P. Hedlund and Steven M. Howell

Analytical techniques in sport are used to provide sport professionals the relevant information necessary to make as informed of a decision as pos­si­ble in business or per­for­mance aspects of sport. In Major League Baseball (MLB), for example, advanced statistics such as Wins Above Replacement (WAR) have proven to be better metrics for evaluating player per­for­mance than more traditional statistics such as home runs (HR), batting average (BA), or runs batted in (RBI). Generally speaking, rigorous quantitative analy­sis and big data analytics in sports have been successfully implemented on both the business (e.g., social media, ticket pricing, stadium financing, ­etc.) and the per­for­mance (e.g., player evaluation/per­for­mance, in-­game strategies, positioning, ­etc.) sides of the sports industry. In short, “­people in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage” (Lewis, 2003, pp. 90-91).