This terminology is common vernacular to anyone in the typical business world. Decisions on marketing efforts, revenue projections, advertising, supply lines – are all rooted in data mining.
No guesswork, no assumptions, no hypothesis, important business decisions are made only after crunching and interpreting the available data.
The same decision making model is becoming more and more evident in the sports world, but it isn’t just in team operations, where dynamic ticket pricing and merchandise sales rule the day, it’s in actual talent evaluation.
“The frontier of analytics is just beginning and there is no end in sight to the potential,” says Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, Sports Management Worldwide President and Founder. “With the explosion in sports in regards to gambling, fantasy, gaming industries, and media companies, the need for sports analysts is also exploding. Analytics is a lucrative field with unlimited opportunities.”
Careers in Sports Analytics Have Staying Power
While the movie Moneyball helped make sports analytics mainstream, the reason this evaluation tool isn't a passing fad is because the results match the hype. Careers in research and analytics are in their boom cycle, primarily because there is the perfect mix of high demand and low supply.
"More and more teams, collegiate and professional, are developing and expanding their in house analytic staff," explains Lashbrook, an active NFL agent having represented over 100 clients. "For example, there are 302 NCAA Division One Baseball teams. Of those 302 teams, about ten has someone on staff who does Baseball Analytics. Our research shows, that most all teams will employee at least one Analyst in the very near future."
And that is just a sliver of the potential market, there are a growing number of opportunities in professional sports leagues of all sports, third-party consultants including fantasy and gambling, and collegiate programs.
Sports analytics is no longer just a baseball specific process.
What Do You Do When Demand Outweighs Supply?
Collegiate programs are inherently slow to respond to career changes. They wait and wait, before developing pertinent studies around an emerging field. Colleges lack agility.
Students interested in analytics have been trying to create their own curriculum for years, wondering, "If I major in sports management and minor in statistics...will that be enough?'
Maybe it will, but there is a better answer out there, a more targeted education focused on the specifics of sports analytics.
Welcome to the Future of Sports Analytics Education
Sports Management Worldwide, a trend-setting organization with years of sports industry experience, is offering five different 8-week courses in sports analytics. Each class offering is specific to an individual sport:
Creating sport specific classes, rather than one ubiquitous class was important to Dr. Lashbroook, "just like every game has a different set of rules, every analytics course has a specific and different set of applications."
How Do These Sports Analytics Classes Work?
Classes are online and available no matter where you live, and unlike many online programs, class sizes are limited to enhance learning and networking.
These aren't your traditional webinar where someone on your screen talks while you sit back and listen. Instead, it's more like a group of students sitting together at a virtual conference table. Every student gets to interact by chatting and asking questions live via a microphone in every session.
But most impressive are the instructors leading the classes.
"Each 8 week online course has live interactive audio chats with the instructor, which we prefer to call mentors because they are so much more than a lecturer. We selected the most respected experts in each sport who currently consults or works in the major leagues," explains Dr. Lashbrook."They are the best mentors as they can relate to the students exactly how to disseminate objective knowledge about their sport, including sabermetrics, analytics, data science, and the statistical tools used by each individual team."
What a Successful Sports Analyst Looks Like
The first impression you get of a sports analyst could be that of a cubicle warrior burdened with thick glasses and a devilishly smiling Einstein poster hanging nearby. Sure, math skills and idolizing Einstein are important, but there is an even greater skill necessary to succeed in this growing field.
"Understanding the statistics is one part," explains Dr. Lashbrook. "The most important part is translating the analytics to a Coach, Scout, or GM so they can incorporate it in their strategy. A knowledge of scouting in a specific sport is an essential foundation for success in any analytic career."
This isn't a career for introverts, this is a career for sports-minded people with an eye for scouting, who desire every advantage when it comes to evaluating players and team performance.
Seeking paid positions with sports associations, teams, & leagues
Looking to work for third-party vendors that consult into teams
Fans who want know in depth statistical tools to evaluate players and teams
The concern with any emerging field is that you will miss the window. By the time you become qualified for the work, maybe the demand will subsist. While there are never any guarantees, we can apply a data driven decision model to this as well.
"The opportunities in all sports in regards to analytics is growing so rapidly, the opportunities are unlimited," according to Dr. Lashbook. "Technology has opened the door for infinite analytic advancement. Analytics is one of the fastest growing jobs types in the market according to our research. Teams are hiring now. This is a new career path with vast potential."
The time to pursue a career in sports analytics is now, and now you know how to do it.
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