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Mark Cuban on Operations Research

Mark CubanMark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team (and billionaire, having timed the dot-com boom and bust pretty well). He is certainly outspoken, amassing hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines for complaining about referees, opposition, and the league. But he also wants to bring a bit of analysis to the game. In a recent blog entry, he is practically begging for more operations research (as always, Steven Baker of BusinessWeek got to this before me in his Blogspotting blog):

The easiest thing in the world for anyone to do is Tivo a game and then break it down. What any of the 13 participants on the court did and how they did it is pretty easy to document for 99.9 pct of the time on the clock. The other .01 can be grey. It doesnt really matter. Aggregate data from a lot of games over a lot of seasons, and all of the sudden you have a database with value.

Once you have information, then you can add brainpower and try to do things better.

Once you have information, then you can start to define excellence and strive for it, measuring your progress along the way.

This certainly isnt a new concept. There are untold number of QC , Process Improvement and Optimization techniques out there. Pick one, pick them all.

Wayne Winston is one of the people working with Cuban, as I wrote in a previous entry.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Gomer | July 9, 2006 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Very intersting and smart on Cuban’s part. While sports seems to capture a lot of statistics, I don’t see these stats and figures being used in a meaningful way. Perhaps it takes an IT veteran to give things a push.