Sports statisticians collect, analyze, interpret, summarize, and present numerical data related to sports. Sports statisticians may work for a specific team or individual, as part of a news organization, or for some other organization that specializes in sports.
Statisticians that work for a particular team may track data on the performance of each individual on the team as well as the team as a whole. They also look at a variety of statistical measures related to the team's competition. A sports statistician may collect and analyze data on an upcoming opponent's players, and use data to analyze a player's success against certain types of players and in specific game situations, and to analyze performance against particular individuals, as well as a wide range of other possible statistical analyses. This information is usually communicated to team management so that the team can plan appropriate strategies to take advantage of their strengths and their opponent's weaknesses.
News organizations also employ sports statisticians for the purpose of providing the reader, listener, or viewer with information that helps describe the performance of an individual or team. Sports statisticians also track records and accomplishments of past and present athletes.
Sports statisticians are part of the general category of statisticians. Statisticians are also employed in such areas as manufacturing, health, government and business. Statisticians apply their abilities to a wide variety of tasks. For example, statisticians may conduct surveys designed to gather information about a particular group of people. Others may analyze data obtained from experiments on manufactured items for the purpose of determining quality, performance, and failure rates.
Education and Training
In the U.S., statisticians may need the following education and training:
- a bachelor's degree with a major in statistics is usually necessary for an entry level position
- a master's degree or Ph.D. is usually necessary for positions of greater responsibility and independence
On the Job
Sports statisticians spend much of their time collecting data. This can be accomplished by attending sporting events, researching news articles, and consulting with other sources. The remainder of their time is largely spent analyzing data and presenting conclusions in a form that is clear and understandable.
Math on the Job
As the name implies, statisticians must have an excellent knowledge of statistics. They must also have strong computer skills, especially with the growing number of statistical software packages. Just as important, statisticians must be able to communicate statistical conclusions in a format that can be understood by people who are not statisticians.
- social scientist
You can get more information about statistics from the
American Statistical Association (ASA).