We have a problem………Information overload.
We all know data analytics is expanding every NBA season as teams try to find an edge wherever they can.
Think about some of the sources that are being mined right now:
There is a lot of “stuff” out there and a lot of confused coaches and front office staff trying to make decisions on it.
This leads us to our next problem…………communicating this “stuff” in a way that a coach or GM CAN make a decision based on data.
We have all this “stuff” but is the message getting across to the coaches and front office staff to allow them to make the right decisions? Do they understand it? Do they trust it? And probably most importantly are they aligned on it?
I decided to take a “corporate” approach to the communication problem and called on experiences I have had in the I.T corporate world with generating reports for senior managers.
These reports need to be simple, like REALLY simple as in “Green” lights means good and “Red” lights mean bad. In short, you want to highlight how things are tracking, address any risks and ensure everyone is on the same page with the message of the report.
But most of all? You want it to ALL be on 1 page.
If I learned anything whilst working for Toyota it was “If you can’t explain something on 1 page, you haven’t thought about it enough”
Enough waffle though.
Let’s take the example of the Dallas Mavericks where I have created a report below that could be used by coaches and the front office.
The goal of the report is to communicate and bring together messages from scouts, analytics staff, sports science etc onto 1 page. The intention of the report being everyone is aligned on how the team is tracking and what the key areas of focus are right now.
In the “metrics” sections at the top of the report, I came up with theoretical areas of focus that the Mavs may have set at the start of the season and would want to track against for the entire season to help them achieve a goal eg. make playoffs.
Why do we want to track key measures? Because meeting key team measures will give them the best chance of achieving their ultimate goals whether that’s making playoffs or winning a championship.
If teams aren’t tracking regularly and openly against what they believed were the keys to winning at the start of the year then how can they possibly expect to achieve them? Are they just going to happen?
This isn’t groundbreaking stuff in terms of funky looking charts and diagrams and it’s not intended to be.
I’m sure “prettier” reports are being generated but the whole point of this is trying to find a way to bring together many different data sources and potentially 100’s of pages of scouting onto 1 page and thus helping coaches and the front office to make decisions whilst cutting out all the other “stuff”.
Let me know your thoughts on the report or if you think there is a better way to communicate lots of data? I’ll be looking at creating a similar “In-game” report that can be used on the fly for coaches to make decisions on in future posts.