Analytics Overload: Are Sports Relying Too Much On Data And Stats?

By Tyler Douris

Everywhere we look in the sports world today, analytics are present. The sports analytic science keeps progressing and owners, professionals and fans all value it more as time goes on. But when will the time come where the analytics outweigh the actual talent? Should player’s salaries depend on analytics or should they be determined by overall talent and worth to the team?

More than ever, you will see players being bashed for their efficiency in today’s game (particularly in the NBA). Although efficiency is a good quality for an NBA team, how much does it affect the team’s overall success? According to an article by ESPN magazine, “the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Astros” put analytics to the best use and are two of the most efficient teams in their sports. These two teams have a severe lack of talent, but the guys who do play have played efficiently. Does that mean that the teams are a contender? Absolutely not. If a player drops 20 points per game in the NBA or takes “efficient” shots, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a max contract player (or at least they shouldn’t be). There are plenty of efficient players in the league, but all of the “greats” will miss, and miss, and miss again until it drops.

Although analytics are important to the sports world, they are being taken too far. Efficient players are important and stats are cool, but when you decide the overall talent of a player by something this complex it can be taken out of hand. There are several players in every league that are key components to their teams, but put up 40 percent shooting and .240 batting averages. There are countless amounts of teams who look like front runners and fail. Talent outweighs efficiency and stats.

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