Wednesday, May 7, 2008
One of the inspirations for starting ThoroughMetrics was my belief that well designed statistical research can help performance in almost any area of study. One of the most well known (and well studied) subjects is baseball. The statistical study of baseball (popularly known as sabremetrics) was popularized by Bill James, and became known more widely due to the popularity of Moneyball, which told the story of how a team with limited resources was able to use better statistical analysis as a competitive advantage. While many people have read Moneyball, and agree with it's conclusions, I think most people take too narrow a view of it's lessons. It isn't about specific strategies for building a competitive baseball team...it's about how objective analysis can provide an edge over those who stick to common sense, intuition, and statistically invalid, biased research. It's a lesson that can be applied profitably to anything where data can be collected and results depend on the accuracy of forecasts or predictions.