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Sports Analytics


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Table of Contents

Foreword Acknowledgments 1. Introduction to Sports Analytics 2. Data and Data Management 3. Data and Information 4. Predictive Analytics and Metrics 5. New Metrics 6. Information Systems 7. Analytics in the Organization: Innovation and Implementation 8. A Blueprint for Analytic Success 9. Building and Managing an Analytic Team Notes Index

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A pioneer of sports data analysis synthesizes data-management tools, analytic models, information systems, and strategic decision-making practices to help a variety of organizations improve their game.

About the Author

Benjamin C. Alamar is a professor of sport management at Menlo College and a sports analytics consultant/researcher. He has consulted with a variety of teams in the NFL and NBA, including five seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and with a variety of companies in sports analytics. He has published numerous research studies in sports analytics and has written on sports analytics for outlets such as ESPN, Analytics Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, Alamar is the founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, the first peer-reviewed academic journal for research in sports analytics. Dean Oliver is the director of Production Analytics at ESPN, leading the development of sports analytics for the network. He worked for seven years in the NBA with the front offices of the Denver Nuggets and Seattle Supersonics, using analytics to improve trades, free agency, the draft, and coaching tactics. The contents of his book, Basketball on Paper, are now used broadly across the NBA. Oliver has a Ph.D. in engineering and has years of experience as an advance scout, collegiate scout, and coach.


This quick, interesting read is a valuable addition to the sports management field. It brings together information that is proprietary, to a significant degree, in the sports industry and therefore not readily available. It will appeal both to readers looking for guidance in setting up a statistical analysis system for their sport organization, as well as to general readers who have an interest in professional sport and team decision making. -- James Masteralexis, Western New England University Outstanding! This is a serious look at the challenges of bringing analytics into the 'actionable' realm within an organization, with great ideas and stories based on some of Benjamin C. Alamar's own experiences. -- Roland Beech, director of analytics, Dallas Mavericks Getting coaches and general managers to listen and understand the numbers is a classic problem for high-level stat geeks in pro sports. In this brisk narrative, Benjamin C. Alamar takes us inside that process, using telling anecdotes from his colleagues and his own experience as a consultant with the Oklahoma City Thunder. This is a great read for job seekers, teams interested in improving their own analytics platform, and smart fans wanting a peek inside team decision making. -- Zach Lowe, staff writer for Grantland Alamar combines first-hand experience as an analytics consultant with investigative research to provide an insider's view of team sports decision making. Using industry examples instead of complicated formulas or equations, he is able to bridge the gap between the executive suite and sports fans. This is a great read for anyone interested in learning more about how the sports world operates behind the scenes. -- Brian C. Kopp, vice president of strategy and development and head of Sports Solutions Group, STATS LLC

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