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Analytical techniques and metrics in sport

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

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).