There is no doubt that our very existence on the planet, as we know it, depends on our continuing intelligent interpretation of information about our ever evolving behavior.
Paul Barsch is a clever writer who pulls data analytics together succinctly in applicable easy to digest scenarios. In his recent article “It Takes Courage to Compete on Analytics” he uses an example of a small league analytics protagonist who got a competitive edge on the big guns.
He describes Billy Beane’s approach to developing and staffing a professional baseball team and it makes for a good read.
But Paul is not the first to write about Billy Beane and the teaming approach he took with his Harvard friend Paul Depodesta . A book by Michael Lewis was written and published about Beane in 2003. It was later made into the movie “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt. This is a wonderful human story of both the success and despair of this man who took on the establishment with an unorthodox approach; and had the courage to defy decades of “common knowledge” in assembling a winning baseball team, yes using analytics.
Interesting too the book is parodied in the Simpsons episode "MoneyBART", that premièred in October, 2010 and in which Lisa manages Bart‘s Little League baseball team using sabermetric principles which are attributed to Bill James who has scientifically analyzed baseball in his writings since the 1970’s
So it seems analytics even in the ubiquitous dysfunctional world of the Simpsons touches everyone. And as Paul Barsch says about Billy Beane, who despite his oblivion now, has had the last say with his methods being all pervasive having changed the way the game is played.
But it remains clear to me that for many of us plebs, analytics is typically deemed as something for the the astute of mind. For the rest of us is it to enjoy when it shows up in a good story.