2018 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference – Wrap Up
Last month, LBi Dynasty sponsored the 12th annual 2018 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference (MIT SSAC). The conference brings together leading figures in sports analytics and technology. The conference was attended by over 3,500 executives, players, agents, students and vendors. This year’s theme was “Talk Data to Me,” and many of its panels focused on the importance of communication in sports analytics.
Here a few of the many panels that impressed me at MIT SSAC:
- Hockey Analytics on the Fly – A great discussion on the state of analytics in hockey and improvements in spatial data and dynamics. Great Takeaway: Analytics and Scouting are not alternatives they are complementary.
- esports Ownership: A New Challenger Approaches – An enlightening discussion with two championship sports franchises (Golden State Warriors and New England Patriots) about their entrance into esports.
- Next Frontier in Baseball Analytics – I am biased because our own Patrick Young was speaking on this Panel. The panel included Dusty Baker (legendary MLB manager and player), Jerry DiPoto (Executive VP & General Manager, Baseball Operations, Seattle Mariners), and Brandon Taubman (Senior Director of Baseball Operations & Analytics, Houston Astros). The panel discussed emerging trends in Baseball Analytics and was moderated by Brian Kenny from MLB Networks. Great takeaway: Dusty Baker “the best clubs combine scouting and analytics.” This year’s baseball analytics session was once again standing room only.
- Take that for Data: Basketball Analytics – A lively discussion on the state of Basketball Analytics. Great moment: Jalen Rose’s Arnold Horshack reference.
It goes without saying that the highlight of the Conference was the hour-long conversation with former U.S. President Barack Obama. The entire conference stopped as everyone filled the largest room to hear him speak off the record; so it truly goes without saying.