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Obama to speak next month at the 12th annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston

In 2017, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship, and Houston Astros won the World Series. What do they all have in common? Analytics is at the core of their decision-making processes.

The upcoming MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference (February 23–24) is the premier event in the industry. Founded in 2007 by MIT Sloan alumnus and Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey and CEO of Kraft Analytics Group Jessica Gelman, the Boston conference is the nexus point for the most innovative researchers, executives, and students to share new analytics approaches, debate current trends, and network. A further incentive to attend: it was recently announced that former President Barack Obama will speak at the conference, addressing his time in office and the next chapter in his life.

Translating sports to business

All the above is exciting for sports, but what does it mean for executives in other industries? While the sports industry is an analytics pioneer, data driven decision-making has become essential to business success in nearly every industry. MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Ben Shields (who leads the two-day program Analytics Management: Business Lessons from the Sports Data Revolution) expects “championship organizations” across industries and sectors to integrate analytics more effectively than ever before in 2018.

“These organizations will use analytics to inform and shape their overall strategy; make wise investments in technology to capture, model, analyze, and visualize data; train existing employees to adapt to data-driven thinking and recruit and retain new analytics talent; and facilitate organizational cultures that support and encourage data-driven decision making.”

Shane Battiers will win

If you don’t know Shane Battier, he’s a former championship-winning basketball player who now runs the Analytics department for the NBA’s Miami Heat. Why is he relevant to you? “Battier symbolizes a new type of analytically-minded executive that will get ahead not only in sports organizations but also across virtually any industry,” says Shields.

“Drawing on their firsthand experience as practitioners, these executives are aggressive in finding and analyzing data to aid in their decision making, as Battier did as a player and now in the front office. In addition, they are able to translate analytical insights so that a variety of stakeholders can understand and act on the information; Battier can talk data with current players, the coaching staff, and the executive team, all of whom have differently familiarity with and biases toward analytics concepts.”

Your business success this year may not require Battier’s jump shot, but if you focus your organization on analyzing and translating data to improve decision making, you might end 2018 with a few more wins.

Learn more in this recent webinar with Shields, Lessons in Analytics Strategy: Takeaways from the Sports Data Revolution, or enroll in his two-day Analytics Management program.


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