The Profession of Sports Analysis
Sports analysis is a relatively new field of research that combines sports science, statistics and technology. The profession can appeal to a wide range of career-seekers, from tech-savvy individuals with a passion for sports to those with broader interests in data analytics and athlete development.
The growing popularity of sports analytics has been largely propelled by the success illustrated in the 2011 film “Moneyball.” This real-life example of how baseball’s Oakland A’s used specific metrics to build a winning team with limited resources is just one of many examples where sports analytics has revolutionized the field, court or ice – and living rooms – of fans across the world.
While it is true that sports analysis involves reducing complex and often unpredictable sporting events to a series of measurable and understandable components, it is also a highly creative and interactive process. While there are countless potential analyses, each will be unique to the sport and the specific situation at hand. Despite this, the best and most successful analysts are able to combine their own creativity and sense of play with the power of data analysis to produce innovative and effective solutions.
A bachelor’s degree in a related subject is required for anyone who wants to work in sports analysis. The undergraduate focus will vary, depending on the career goals of the individual – for example, those who want to be involved in broadcasting should pursue a degree in journalism or broadcasting and communications, while those who wish to specialize in statistical sports analysis would benefit from a degree in statistics, data science or math. Technical ability is also important, as the profession requires a working knowledge of analytics software and programming languages.