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February 2013, Vol. 19

Information analysis woes? Build a better business data analysis plan

Many of you have heard about Nate Silver, the New York Times blogger and author who used survey data and statistical analysis to correctly predict the outcome of the November presidential election—every state and the national electoral total. You may not know that he started out his information analysis, statistical and research wizardry in sports with Baseball Prospectus, a publication known for its expertise in the practice of Sabermetrics, a discipline that asks new questions about existing statistical data to achieve fresh insights into player performance. Silver went back to his roots recently in analyzing the vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He wrote a piece in the Times that came out the morning the official votes were announced, predicting no one would get in this year. He was correct. He also showed how the steroid era is having a negative effect not only on known steroid users but also on non-users. What does this have to do with business analytics? A lot, if you consider the possibilities of the new kinds of ...

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