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The NBA Makes a Big Data Play

by Dashboard Insight, Dashboard InsightTuesday, October 22, 2013

Sports analytics have become increasingly popular, not just within the organizations/franchises themselves, but in the public as well. The movie Moneyball brought data and analytics to the mainstream as a necessary tool for sports managers.

Christopher Heine writes for Adweek on the NBA's play for utilizing big data analytics:

Who knew that when Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul passes the ball to a teammate within five feet of the basket, there’s an 89 percent chance it will result in a score? And while fans know that San Antonio’s Tony Parker is a great player, how about the fact that he scores every 0.24 times he gets the ball?

Those sports-nerd stats are a tiny sample of what the National Basketball Association has in store for fans for the approaching season as the league looks to energize its content marketing with Big Data. In a nod to baseball’s sabermetrics (or to Moneyball, for movie buffs), basketball stats like points and turnovers are about to become old hat. For the first time, all 29 of the NBA’s arenas will have software-packed cameras that will record players’ every move, mapping 25 images per second.

“We are really setting out on a journey,” said Steve Hellmuth, NBA evp of operations and technology. “We want statistics that visualize the game and lead to a greater understanding of it.”

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