Billy Beane talks sports and analytics at a SAS event
Two years ago, Brad Pitt starred in Moneyball, an Academy Award-nominated story about Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane bringing the power of advanced analytics to the sport. Beane wasn’t the first to use statistical analytics to build a successful team and keep its payroll in check.
Baseball and political data guru Nate Silver, Chicago Cubs GM Theo Epstein and Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey have all embraced data as an indicator of future success in sports. Their approaches are in sharp contrast to other general managers of teams that rely on gut instincts and big salaries.
With the NBA Playoffs entering the conference finals, it reminds me of a skit on Sesame Street I used to watch when I was a kid: “One of these things is not like the others.” Of the four teams that are still in the NBA playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies don’t look like the others, in terms of payroll at least.
Popular SAS blogger Rick Wicklin was recently interviewed by the Portuguese statistics site, estatisti.co about his new book, his background in mathematics, his advice for programmers and his dedication to blogging. Wicklin's answers are conveniently translated into English on the site, so you can read these - and other gems by checking out the full interview.
Wicklin on big data:
Everyone is talking about Big Data, but I think that the fundamental principles of data analysis are relevant regardless of the data size. With big data you have to be computationally efficient, but SAS software has always excelled at efficiency. More data is not always better data. However, for people who have to analyze massive amounts of data, SAS has developed computational techniques that scale with the number of available processors.
The value of analytics to solve multiple business problems really makes analytics the ultimate reusable business investment, or as they say in the energy industry, it may be called a renewable resource.
As I've commented before, organizations send billions of dollars on storing data, and unless you happen to be a storage vendor, storing data isn't what keeps your company in business. In a similar manner, the three V's of Big Data - volume, variety and velocity - have more to do with handling and storing data than with providing business value. The value of data comes when it gets transformed into information or insights, and that insight leads to the right decision maker who can use it to make a more informed decision.
Get ready statistics lovers. As part of my new role, I’ve been researching and discovering all the resources that SAS has for statistics – and I’m eager to share what I’ve found. Here are just a few things I discovered that you might find helpful.
Need to create some nice graphics? The ODS Statistical Graphics (also known as ODS Graphics) is the functionality you need for easily creating statistical graphics. Plus it is included in a number of SAS products, including SAS/STAT, SAS/ETS, SAS/QC, and SAS/GRAPH software.
What do you see when you look at the picture to the right?
Like you, I see a busy dad with his daughter trying to maneuver a shopping cart full of groceries!
But the real question: is there more?
What do you really see?
In a business setting, depending on the “hat” that you wear in the business – you might see something different in the picture. As a matter of fact, you are likely to see something that exemplifies your perspective based on who you are and what you do for your company.
It seems like only yesterday that the SAS Executive Briefing Center (EBC) parking lot was filled with Craft Services tents, high-end luxury cars, movie cameras and, oh, a few celebrities. But, it’s been nearly a year since SAS became Stark Industries for a day when parts of Iron Man 3 were filmed on SAS campus.
Surely many of you have by now seen the movie, and hopefully recognized that the beautiful lobby and glass doors of Stark Industries looked like the SAS Executive Briefing Center (EBC) lobby.
SAS LEED-certified Executive Briefing Center served as part of Stark Industries in Iron Man 3
For example, both companies are eco-friendly workplaces. Stark Tower is powered by its own arc reactor, capable of sustaining the tower for a year at no cost to the city. The SAS EBC is LEED-certified, which boasts many self-sustaining features, including water and energy conservation, a green roof, rainwater repurposing, electric car charging stations and more. Read More »
In the past, I’ve contributed to this blog with posts about the use of analytics and statistics in the education industry. I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been transitioning to a new role as the product marketing manager for statistics. I’ll give you three reasons why I’m excited about this new role:
Statistics and SAS are synonymous.
I am eager to leverage my background in statistics.
Did you catch that last one? Or have you already heard about the International Year of Statistics? How are you celebrating? SAS, of course, has a ton of things going on to celebrate. Here are some of my favorites:
Everyone wants to be efficient. Everyone wants to do a good job. And yet, inefficiency abounds.
Islands of efficiency are set up when individual goals of a person or location override the efficiency of the whole network. In the "intended island of efficiency" each person or persons, working in their little link in the chain, think of themselves as pulling their own weight and effectively moving product to the final customer facing location.
What happens when there are barriers set up in technology that short circuit the very best of human intentions and turn “little links in the chain” into what could best be described as inventory “elephants on parade”? Each chain link looks efficient, but when looked at as a whole, the supply chain takes on the appearance of bloated elephants. Each elephant is holding onto the tail of the one in front and blindly following the lead.