Thinking About SH//FT in Sport Analytics

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Earlier today, I received an alert to Mara Averick’s post on women in the sports data revolution.

Her thoughts took me back to look at SH//FT (Shaping Holistic Inclusion in Future Technology) “a non-profit organization … providing equal opportunity– to be a foundation and platform that under represented groups can use to define their skill set, refine it, and become competitive in the job market”.

In her post, Mara discusses Nikita Taparia’s Women Are Being Left Behind by the Sports Data Revolution. It is a post about “sport stories we wish we could tell – but the data just isn’t there even at the highest level”.

Anyone interested in committing to SH//FT in sport analytics will find Nikita’s post fascinating. I am delighted I found Mara’s response to Nikita:

This is such a wonderful piece, and, realizing that it could take an epoch for me to craft a response worthy of it, I thought I’d just post responses to a few of the issues you pointed out.

These two posts and Alison McCann’s 2015 post, Hey, Nate: There Is No ‘Rich Data’ In Women’s Sports, make compelling reading.

There is a fourth too, Sue Bird’s Analyze This. Sue observes:

I think there is also some subtext to the lack of data in women’s sports. Is the WNBA, for example, not worthy of a deep dive? Do women, as fans — who account for about 70 percent of our fanbase in arenas across the league — have less of a mind, or less of an interest in numbers, than their male counterparts?

She concludes:

One day, I won’t even have to tell my niece about how great Diana Taurasi was. The numbers will speak for themselves.

… and SH//FT happens.

Photo Credit

No data (Allison McCann, FiveThirtyEight)

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