Category Archives: Sports

What Does MC Hammer Have To Do With Analytics?

In this special episode of BITV, I share thoughts on the upcoming trends in information management and their adoption into mainstream thinking.

I talk about Cloud, Social Media and Data Mashups….and of course M.C. Hammer!


Gary Wolf from the Quantified Self…on Personal Analytics

You probably did not notice if your right eye twitched this morning. And you might not have attached any meaning to it, if you did notice. However, Gary Wolf, a contributing editor for Wired Magazine, sees such subtle observations as a pathway to self-illumination.

“It turns out involuntary movement of the muscles in your face is associated with moods and emotions,” he says. “Awareness of your facial muscles gives you an access point to your moods and emotions you wouldn’t otherwise have.”


John Hollinger, the ultimate entrepreneur of Basketball Analytics!

Starting as a hobby, John Hollinger parlayed his love of sports and analytics into a career in sports analytics, and has had a major influence on basketball analytics.

One of his major contributions is the Player Efficiency Rating (PER), which takes many different factors and parlays it into a single number.

Here, John shares his passion for sports analytics and breaks down the difference between perceived performance and measured performance into a new methodology: Game Score.


Talking Soccer, Data and Analytics with the President!

Sunil Gulati is the current president of the United States Soccer Federation and an economics professor at Columbia University. In this video we talk about the role of analytics in soccer today and in the future.

Bringing Down the House with Jeff Ma!

Jeff won millions-and inspired the Hollywood film 21-when he masterminded a card counting scheme involving his fellow MIT classmates and took on Vegas. Ma has now parlayed his love for analytics, gambling and sports into a career as an analyst, author and speaker.  In this video we talk about what blackjack can teach us about predictive analytics and business intelligence. Can you take on the house?

Analytics and Fitness

Bruno Aziza talks with Jason Jacobs of Runkeeper.

Runkeeper is an exciting app for mobile phones that assembles and tracks all of your fitness data and allows you to analyze progress and get in shape.

The features are pretty sophisticated and even include route suggestions, sharing your progress publicly and voice “coaching” that tells you how far you’ve gone! Jason shares an inspirational story from a blind user who utilizes the program when he trains; data and analytics can even change lives!

Want to be on TV? Answer the “Future of Soccer” Survey

Coming to the MIT Sports Analytics Conference next week? Want to be on TV? Start here:

1) Join the BI-TV Linkedin Group @ 
2) Answer the “Future of Soccer Analytics” Survey @ and add a comment.
3) Send me an email @ and win the opportunity to be on BI-TV!

Here are some resources to help you think about the survey answers…

The Future of Soccer is in its Analytics @
The Analytics of Soccer Radio Interview @
Soccer Analytics Videos @
Top 10 Analytics use for Soccer @

Soccer World Cup 2010 Final….Analysis!

In a few hours, Holland and Spain will challenge each other for the Soccer World Cup title in South Africa. 

The tournament has been punctuated by political drama (France), amazing athletic surprises (South Africa, Uruguay, Ghana) and controversial calls (US-Slovenia, UK-Germany to name a few).

Holland and Spain have met 9 times in FIFA tournaments since 1920, each won 4 times and tied once!  This game, the tenth in their common history, will tip the balance!

It’s always difficult to use historical information dating to 1920 to determine who will win though. As I discussed in a world cup radio interview here, team’s performance is the result of players’ performance.  Fixtures and formations on each side vary from games to games and from cup to cup so, analytical supporters are better off using recent history.

To this effect, I created “Soccer Mood Analytics” – which indicate how a team should feel about their performance as they get into their upcoming game. You can see Spain’s “Mood Analytic” here and Holland’s here

In my definition, Mood is influenced by a team’s performance in recent games with similar fixtures/formations and the rank difference between the team assessed and their opponent (More on “Mood Analytics” here).  

My analytics indicate that Spain has had more challenging opponents collectively (Germany and Portugal in particular).   Holland did win against Brazil and, contrary to Spain, has not lost a single game since the beginning (Spain lost against Switzerland).   Both teams have great players of course, but Spain seems to have relied on David Villa disproportionality so far.  Villa scored 5 of all of 7 Spanish goals – in contrast, Holland’s 12 goals came from 6 different players. 

If the game goes to penalty kicks, you’ll hope that the Spanish team will be using the “penalitycs” I refer to in this video (@ 1:02 min).   According to Castrol Analysis, David Villa has failed to convert 4 of the last 8 penalties he took and 9 of the last 11 penalties missed by the Spaniards were taken by center forwards.

Finally, consider social media analytics: while Holland gets most of the positive social media attention here, the crowd seems to think Spain has an advantage (Castrol Football index here).  For more on social media analytics buzz, check out

This game should be fun and I hope that many of you will get to enjoy it.  May the best team win…and everything is possible…any given Sunday!

Bruno Aziza

Author, Drive Business Performance

On twitter @brunoaziza


Prior article: The Future of Soccer is in its Analytics:

Fifa Analytics:

Castrol Analytics: