Data Scientists in Basketball: An Example

Introduction

More and more sports and teams are advertising for data scientists. The week, for example, the Golden State Warriors have advertised for two data scientist positions: one a senior data scientist the other a data scientist. I think they provide a fascinating example of the experiences expected of a new generation of analysts.

The online job descriptions for the Golden State include the following (shared here verbatim):

Senior Data Scientist

The Golden State Warriors are looking for a savvy and innovative Senior Data Scientist to join our growing Basketball Operations team. In this role, you will have the opportunity to utilize your skills to develop and define data requirements and recommend data structure for BI applications. To be successful, you will need a strong data engineering background and the ability to thrive in a dynamic environment. You will be responsible for data analysis and model development.

This is an exciting opportunity to share your expertise and knowledge within a growing sports and entertainment organization that values your initiative, creativity and drive for results. We are seeking an individual who thrives in an environment that is ever-changing and full of diversity and pride themselves on community! This is full-time position located in Oakland, CA relocating to San Francisco later this summer.

The required skills and experiences anticipated in this role (note the ‘deep expertise‘ qualifier) included:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Statistics or STEM related field; Master’s degree preferred
  • 5+ years of experience with back end engineering, SAS, MSSQL and other markdown languages (JSON, HTML, XML)
  • Deep expertise with standard SQL
  • Deep expertise (+4 years) with Python and IPython with focus on pandas
  • Deep expertise (+4 years) with statistical modeling
  • Deep expertise with scikit-learn, TensorFlow or Keras
  • Deep expertise with data visualization matplotlib/seaborn + (Tableau, Looker)
  • Experience parallelized data pipelining
  • Experience with cloud technologies Google Cloud or AWS preferred
  • Proficiency with Git, Slack, Confluence

The advertisement also noted that pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, “we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records”.

Data Scientist

In the online application, the job description for the data scientist is similar to the senior role. It does include this invitation:

Do you strive to build something new? If so, then we want to talk to you! This is an exciting opportunity to share your expertise and knowledge within a growing sports and entertainment organization that values your initiative, creativity and drive for results. We are seeking an individual who thrives in an environment that is ever-changing and full of diversity and pride themselves on community! This is full-time position located in Oakland, CA relocating to San Francisco later this summer.

Photo Credit

Golden State (Twitter)

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