Baseball and Business Intelligence

Spring is right around the corner. With it comes, warmer weather, dreaded allergies, and America’s past time, Baseball. As we kick off the baseball season, teams across the country will be looking to keep their momentum going from last year, while others are finding anyway possible to gain an advantage over their rivals. This brings to mind one valuable strategy almost all MLB organizations have adopted; the use of baseball data analytics.

Think about it for a minute. How many various statistics do you hear during a game? Batting average, On Base %, Slugging %, ERA, Average amount of sunflower seeds consumed per game, etc.

The point I’m trying to make is baseball has realized the benefits of taking the data at hand and utilizing it to achieve wins and make their organization more successful. For example, in a tight game a team may choose to pinch hit a lefty against a right-handed pitcher because his batting average is higher when facing right handed pitchers than compared to his fellow team mate. The same can be said for pitchers, as a team may choose to only allow their ace to throw 100 pitches per game, as his performance greatly declines once reaching this threshold. These statistics go on and on… Don’t believe me? They made a whole movie about it! Money Ball.

Collecting and trending this data is how teams and players improve. If a player is dropping his hands when he swings the bat, the team gathers data, and in most cases videos, showing not only why, but also how the player needs to improve his swing so he can help the team achieve a victory.

This brings me to my main point: Businesses should follow baseball as an example by collecting and analyzing the data they have available and use it to make educational decisions that will inevitably drive success throughout their company.

How do they do this? Simple, Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence tool that allows companies to pull data from multiple data sources into one centralized platform in order to benchmark and trend their overall performance. Just like in baseball, successful companies are tracking and making key business decisions based off the metrics and analytical reports presented inside of Power BI; however, instead of batting averages and ERAs, these companies are looking at Real Time Cash Flow, YOY Sales trends, Revenue Growth %, Shipment Status, Production Throughput, and the list goes on.

At the end of the day we can put on our ‘rose colored’ glasses and go with a gut feeling, but the data speaks the truth. Microsoft Power BI is the tool to utilize and present these truths so that we can succeed and drive business efficiency.

As the MLB season kicks off, players and teams will be battling for their spot in the playoffs and only those with the will, determination, and analytics will push forward into October. The same can be said for businesses. Those companies that are utilizing Microsoft Power BI will have a better understanding of their company’s overall performance as we draw near to the start of the next fiscal quarter, and in turn will have the data and knowledge of how to grow their business.

If we can use Power BI to create a dashboard that looks like this for fun, imagine what we can do for harnessing the information behind your company.

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