Monday, June 6, 2011

Statistical Analysis in Sports

This Summer (and Fall) I am teaching a course called Sports Economics. In this class I use statistical analysis as the primary methodological tool as opposed to using theory. There are a number of reasons for this and one of the reasons that is rising toward the top of the list is that statistical analysis is showing us superior predictive power than seat-of-the-pant conjecturing, even by experts, as I have written about in the past. Another reason for all this statistical analysis is that it allows one to take into account a number of competing issues resulting in a much more clearer picture of the issue at hand, as I have written about in the past.

Yet, a more practical reason is also on the list: future employment. The New York Times published an article stating that in a world of increasing amount of data, individuals who are able to analyze statistics will be in greater demand in the job market. While this class is not a statistics class, I feel that it is important for students to see that manipulating data, analyzing data and making statistical inference (drawing statistical conclusions) is something that students should be aware of in greater amounts. And in full disclosure, I like this approach.

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