Almost as fierce as the competition on the court, the battle between fans of the National Basketball Association (NBA) who favour an analytics based approached and those who prefer to rely on the “eye test” has been fought for many years now.
Recently the NBA themselves have perhaps taken a step towards the analytics side with the introduction of the Microsoft Azure powered platform, NBA CourtOptix.
What is it?
NBA CourtOptix is an attempt to give the basketball fans around the world more knowledge and highlights through a wide range of advanced metrics, play type breakdowns, player tracking data and detailed shot charts.
This data is collected through Microsoft’s Azure platform using its artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, resulting in a detailed analysis and breakdowns of each game.
What does it record?
Sports are filled with data, statistics, and percentages. In basketball, players have individual stat lines, recording things like points, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals.
Beyond that, there are metrics like field goal percentages, which is a percentage of shots that are made in comparison with shots taken.
NBA CourtOptix takes these statistics and breaks them down to a granular level. Through the platform, fans will be able to see insights like a players’ “expected shot value”, which considers their individual success rate, defensive pressure from an opposing player, proximity, location of the shot and what type of shot it is.
This data is then used to show how each individual player compares to the average across the league, in the same in-game situations.
Similar processes are applied to other scenarios, like which players are pressured the most when they have the ball, who is most successful at creating open 3-point shot attempts and which player is the fastest in the league, and in what situations?
NBA CourtOptix will now provide the answers to these questions, giving fans a level of insight not seen before in the sport.
Better insights, better results
Analytics are now used regularly in sports, allowing teams to derive an untold number of insights that can inform their strategy, and ultimately improve their performance, and the same applies to a business and its customer data.
The difference between sports and business is the quality of the data. Sports are taking from a single, exclusive source of data, where highly trained and talented athletes are the generators. In business, data is created in huge numbers across a wide variety of sources and in many forms such as structured and unstructured. This can often lead to the quality of the data being questionable, which can lead to incorrect insights, analysis and impact a business’s relationship with their customers.
At DQ Global, we have been pioneering the importance of data quality since our inception 25 years ago.