Leopold: Stat czar Vince Gennaro harnesses baseball’s mountain of data

From George Leopold at EnterpriseTech.com on August 15, 2014, with SABR President Vince Gennaro:

The amount of data being captured, stored, and analyzed during a Major League Baseball (MLB) game has, like players’ salaries and the net worth of big league franchises, exploded. From the late 1860s to 2003, the total amount of statistical data on the game amounted to about 2 gigabytes. With the installation of sensor and tracking technologies in big league ballparks beginning in 2003, the amount of “game-level data” is expected to reach about 1 terabyte per game in the next year or so.

Making sense of all those pitches (an estimated 720,000 per season), hits, stolen bases, and double plays has grown from stat sheets on clip boards to number-crunching algorithms running on clusters. The result is what has come to be known as “baseball analytics,” and it is being used by team owners and general managers to make multimillion-dollar decisions about whether or not to sign a high-priced free agency or re-sign a rising star to contracts that reflect skyrocketing market values.

Working to make sense of all this data, the underpinnings of the business of baseball, is Vince Gennaro, a successful executive, entrepreneur, and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. Gennaro has carved out a niche in the world of big data for application in sports management. It all starts with a thorough understanding of baseball analytics.

Gennaro, who currently serves as president of the respected Society of American Baseball Research, also directs the sports management program at Columbia University. Gennaro will deliver the keynote address at the EnterpriseHPC 2014 conference, which is being held September 7 through 9 at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, California.

EnterpriseTech sat down with Gennaro to discuss how big data, analytics, high-performance number crunching, and ubiquitous cloud computing and storage are transforming the business of baseball.

Read the full article here: http://www.enterprisetech.com/2014/08/15/stat-czar-vince-gennaro-harnesses-baseballs-mountain-data/

Originally published: August 15, 2014. Last Updated: August 15, 2014.