Posts Tagged ‘Michael Lewis’

OPIM = Success in Sports!

Operations and Information Management (abbreviated in academia as the field of OPIM), are definitely one driving force behind any business, but how has it been applied in the business of sports? If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you’ll know that I’m a strong believer in the power of analytics, business intelligence, and having a well operated and informed environment in any environment of business–sports being no exemption.

For any Michael Lewis readers, baseball fans, or sports movie viewers out there, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game,” as well as its recent film adaptation, “Moneyball,” demonstrate the power of business intelligence and key performance indicators (KPIs) in sports. I’ll leave the reading/watching up to you, with my strong recommendation, but let’s look at a more scholarly approach to this same idea.

David Bamford, a University of Huddersfield professor, and a specialist in Operations Management, claims that the victory of the Sky Cycling Team in the Tour de France was due to statistical analysis, looking towards new KPIs, and more importantly, using these data to make strategic decisions regarding which athletes (in cycling currently, but soon in application to a variety of sports). He claims that this data can be used to create more pure competition, which will enthrall fans, and create less distractions from the raw nature of sports.

Bamford’s work also went into analysis of the 2012 Paralympic Games, which he was able to confirm was a very successfully operated event. The data gathering method he used here was very personal and centered around athletes of the games. Everything was done in a survey format, whether online or in-person,and questions varied from satisfaction with transportation, how efficient service was, the quality of the facilities, and many other categories.

I think that Bamford’s work in these two projects were amazing demonstrations of how the field of OPIM is one of the most monumental, yet behind-the-scenes, component of the sports that we consume everyday, every game day, or even every few years. Anlong with this, obviously, we can see that Operations can contribute to the sport itself, as intimately as who our athletes are, or as indirectly as making sure that the athletes performing are able to compete in an efficient, stress-free environment, to be at the top of their game!

With my sign off for the week, I leave you all this challenge: when watching sports, live, on TV, or even watching highlight reels, think about what it takes to:

  • get sports to your living room
  • get athletes to the game
  • make an arena suitable for athletes and fans
  • create the competition that keeps you on the edge of your seat

The passion that players and athletes put into their sport can never be broken down into just dry statistics. The reason fans watch sporting events is for the very unpredictability of the outcome and the emotion and beauty of the physical performance. Operations management can aid the athlete and players by ensuring they are at the right place, with the right kit at the right time to turn in a winning performance.” –David Bamford

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