Integration of Collegiate Sports Analytics: Update 3

Moving further and further towards the end of the research part of my project, it seems that I’ve hit a literary wall. While there are hundreds of articles and publications on how sports analytics have worked their way into professional leagues, it appears that I have exhausted those options regarding strictly NCAA sports. With that in mind, it’s time to move on to the next phase of my project– building and distributing the survey. Before I can do so, I need to write a literature review of the 30+ sources I’ve found– hopefully doing so can condense what I’ve found so far so I can develop insightful and efficient questions for the sports personnel to whom I send this to. I went into this project expecting the survey to focus more on what specific stats they track– for example, points-per-possession for collegiate basketball and a complex breakdown of pitch types for baseball. Now, I’ve learned that most programs instead various sports-related softwares and video programs to get a better look at performance, so I think it’s more valuable to focus on exactly which of those are being used.

In addition, something original from my project proposal remains in the pool of potential survey questions: how valuable is this data to coaches and athletic directors? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t raise his true shooting percentage, after all. That’s what I’m hoping the survey will help uncover. I also can already foresee a potential problem if the non-response rate is too high– it’s hard to get a national view of how sports data is used if three coaches answer the survey, after all.

To that extent, it’s likely that I will promise potential respondents copies of the survey results, provided all names and identifying data is safely removed from the final data set. Hopefully, this is able to increase my response rate, as I’m confident that NCAA athletic personnel will be interested in what I’m tracking. Additionally, to gain traction and to tap into a surprise network, I have contacted the editors of Coach & A.D. magazine to see if they can assist in any way with distributing the survey or finding interested college employees. Not that the results of the research are dependent on this, but some more eyes on it wouldn’t hurt!