As sports science continues to make stride after stride, the importance of stats is continuously growing and it apparent that none of it is going away soon. The main reason data analytics is here to stay is the fact that it certainly adds value to the game (whichever it is in the particular case) in more than one way.
The Entertainment Value
Looking at more stats than just the final score of a game is a proud American tradition and we can proudly say that our domestic sports has been leading the way in this department worldwide for a very long time. Europe and their favorite soccer have a long way to go until they reach the depth of statistical analysis presented to fans of football, basketball or baseball here in North America and we know for a fact that having more stats available to digest makes for better entertainment.
Watching a competitive game of sports is always interesting and often quite exhilarating, but stats give the sports fan another point of interest. This heightens the entertainment and furthers understanding of what is going on the field, pitch or court. This allows fans to form even more meaningful relationships with their favorite sports as deeper understanding inevitable leads to deeper appreciation of what is going on.
Stats have been so addictive and influential for fans that they have spurred the field of fantasy sports pretty much singlehandedly. It allows fans to put themselves in the shoes of professional coaches and pundits and to do their best to prove the depth of their knowledge about the sport. This is entertainment of its own and keeps fans glued to their screens on game day as they are even more invested. Some might even go as far as trying to find math tutor who can help them wield the power of statistical analysis and if you want to really dominate your office’s fantasy league, this more might help you get the crown and would be a sign of utter dedication.
The Value for Teams
But the depth of stats available to the average fan pales in comparison to the stats available to professional teams and many put a lot of effort in turning the data into a competitive advantage. The most obvious application of data analytics in sports is finding the right players to join your team. It doesn’t matter if it’s when a team is trying to select a young player to draft, or negotiating a contract with a free agent or extending the contract of a player that’s already on the team, stats always play a very important role.
Without going into any depth, it’s clear and evident that a team needs to find a way to assign value to a player’s potential and the best thing to base this on besides gut feeling is the level of their past performances. This is why stats are important and are actually irreplaceable. Even if you have watched every single game a player has played so far, a single human mind cannot crunch so much data simultaneously and more importantly without bias. This means that stats are the most objective way to determine how valuable of a performance has a particular player been putting in in the past.
Of course, as revealing about the past as stats might be, they can’t really make a claim about a player’s future with absolute certainly. They have a lot of predictive power as long as a player manages to continue to perform and develop in the manner they have done in the past, but as players are complex human beings as any of us this can never be ensured 100%. Sometimes a player would show amazing potential and their stats will be screaming ‘future superstar’ loudly and clearly, but when they become a member of a professional team, their psyche betrays them and they buckle under the pressure or their newfound wealth spoils them. This is something that stats have a hard time predicting, so singing new players remains a bit of a gamble. Still, data analytics keeps the odds in your favor.