Sam Gregory (link) has posted Getting into Sports Analytics 2.0 (19 January 2020) (link). Sam’s aim is to update the post he wrote in 2017, Getting into Sports Analytics (link) “the analytics world has changed since 2017: more public data sources, more job postings, and almost certainly more competition for those job postings”. I think Sam’s 2.0 article resonates strongly with some of the analytics issues raised in Clyde Street (link).
In his 2017 article, which I am calling Sport Analytics 1.0, Sam noted that he was often asked “how do I get a job in sports analytics”. He observed “I don’t really have a satisfactory answer either beyond what was told to me or an in-depth and overly specific life story. But because this is a question I get so much I thought I could give at least a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way that have either helped me or people I know in the industry”.
Sam suggested that prospective analysts:
- Start doing work now and make it public
- Sports Analytics isn’t a degree (and it doesn’t need to be)
- Working in a club isn’t the only job
- You still might not get a job and that’s okay
Sam concludes his post “so now that I’ve written all of these ideas out somewhere I hope that next time instead of messaging me to ask for advice on how to break into the industry you’ll message me with your first blog post or an example of some public work!”.
When I read Sam’s post I thought he offered some excellent advice. I was particularly interested in the sharing and learning parts of his advice. I thought sam’s career was an excellent example of the story he shared.
Sam’s 2020 article updates his 2017 post. In it he notes “the analytics world has changed since 2017: more public data sources, more job postings, and almost certainly more competition for those job postings”.
Sam looks at:
- University Degrees
- University Sports Analytics Clubs
- Public Data Sets and Code
- Sports Analytics Conferences
- Do Good
Sam concludes his 2.0 post with this observation “between what I wrote in 2017 and what I’ve written here I think this is about as much advice as I can give for “ how to get into sports analytics”, a question that has no easy answers”.
I think Sam’s two posts are profoundly helpful to those contemplating a career in sports analytics. I do think analytics is a very attractive career. Like, Sam, I believe the key to flourishing is fallible, open sharing and an unequivocal commitment to learning.
More and more sports are developing their analytics’ capability. In doing so, they are attracting interest from outside sport. It is not unusual now to see sport analytics departments staffed by astrophysicists, data scientists and cognitive neuro-physiologists. This growth should encourage us to contemplate pedagogical issues and address the aspirations of thousands of students to be analysts.
Sam’s articles help us to think about the praxis (link) of becoming an analyst in what has become a highly competitive market and highly skilled market.
Sam Gregory (Medium)