Analytics Is Important

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I saw this today and couldn’t let it pass. Ignoring the personalities involved and the specific topics, it contains the most ludicrous misunderstanding of what analytics is useful for that you could possibly have.

To paraphrase, ‘If analytics don’t match the eye test, then analytics must be wrong’.

To reinterpret, for analytics to be correct they must confirm our previously held opinions.

If we have learnt the first thing about analytics, probably from reading Moneyball, it is that analytics is a process for better understanding the game as it actually is.

If we really understand the game, then most of the time analytics will support our eyes. But when analytics don’t support our eyes, those are the opportunities to learn. We can learn that we don’t really understand the game as we thought we did. We can learn that a particular player is better (or worse) than we thought they were. We can learn that we need to learn more.

Analytics has its own fatal flaws, especially in how the results are applied, but to say that analytics is wrong because you don’t agree with the result is pretty stupid.

And for the record, analytics and statistics are completely different things. If you are interested in analytics, I would urge you check out the various Science Untangled apps, including the setter app.

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