Ryan Petersen

May 15 2012

Colleges Expand Studies in Sports Analytics

The rise of metrics in professional baseball, basketball and golf attracts a new generation of students to sports management.

The popularity of the book and recent movie Moneyball about how the Oakland Athletics made the 2002 playoffs in baseball has rekindled interest in analytics as a performance-enhancing tool.

In the NBA, video cameras track player and ball movements, capturing data on everything from the trajec­tory of shots to the number of dribbles and passes per player.

Now professional golf has a new metric — strokes gained-putting — that Mark Broadie of the Columbia Business School developed to help professional golfers improve performance on the green. The metric combines the PGA TOUR's ShotLink data and Broadie's own equations. Broadie says the latest developments in sports analytics are now attracting students to careers in sports management, luring them away from jobs in finance or business. And, an important element of the appeal is computer science skills.

"A lot of the people who do sports analytics come from economics or business," Broadie says. "But with the amount of data coming out the last few years, you also need basic computer science skills to handle all that data and provide a new perspective." To read about the rise of sports analytics on campus, turn to "The Numbers Game."

A Cloudy Path

As many IT staffs weigh their best path to the cloud, Middle Tennessee State University CIO Bruce Petryshak says there's no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

That's why MTSU uses a mix of private- and public-cloud services. The university built a private internal cloud to deliver virtual access to applications. To find out what factors are motivating campus cloud choices, read "All of the Above."

The issue also features stories about critical networking topics, including:

Technology of all stripes continues to play a vital role in defining the modern university. We hope this issue inspires your IT team to embrace the possibilities.

<p>Matthew Gilson</p>