heat map of made shot attempts
Apparently Kevin Durant doesn’t make his shots from everywhere.

There are some amazing things that we accomplish with technology. For example, there is a system that can track a missile, moving at incredible speeds, and report this information to other applications that could potentially be used to react in some way. That’s pretty amazing, and whether or not you agree with the purpose of the system, the technical achievement is pretty incredible.

There are other people that can take that technology and apply it to a more benign use. SportVU has used missile tracking technology in sports to gather additional statistics on the various games and the players. They started using this with soccer, but have brought it to the US and the National Basketball Association, implementing the system in 10 arenas. The linked article looks at the way in which this technology can be applied to player performance, and uncovering patterns that might not be otherwise recognized.

It’s incredible to see the the heat maps of attempts v makes for one of the most exciting young shooters in the NBA. Watching his Kevin Durant in some games, I was sure that he could make any shot from anywhere on the floor. The data proves me wrong. If I were a defender, I’d be looking to force Durant outside of a few areas near the three point line and let him take his shots from elsewhere. At least until the data showed he was getting better from other spots.

So many of our decisions these days are based on hard data, but are we collecting the correct data? Could we find other data points that might uncover data within data? This article shows that there might be other technologies out there, even in completely unrelated fields, that might help us find new data points to capture, and new patterns that can help us make better decisions. If you are using any type of unusual technology in your business, let us know.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

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