Rugby is Experiencing an Analytics Revolution

Rugby, like business, is a game of inches. Gaining a competitive advantage requires sharp data analysis and advanced analytics. 

What do rugby and business have in common? According to QBE CIO Malcolm Simpkin, they're both games of inches that require sharp data analysis in order to get ahead. Simpkin is one of several people interviewed in a video on The Guardian's website highlighting the marriage of sports and data. Americans are likely familiar with Moneyball, which wasn't necessarily about advanced stats, but certainly included them as a way to obtain a competitive advantage. For rugby, a much different game that baseball yet one that can still be quantified, numbers offer a unique glimpse into the subtle nuances of the action.

We've talked a lot about how big data is changing sports here on Big Think, especially in this past year. I've embedded below a video of former NBA commissioner David Stern in which he discusses the ways in which technology has led to a whole new manner of evaluating what we previously had to take at face value. Gleaning information beyond the eye test, front offices and fans alike can gain a deeper appreciation of the unseen mechanics of sports. 

Check out the piece linked below for more about rugby stats and do let us know how you feel about the sports analytics revolution.

Read more at The Guardian.

Photo credit: Paolo Bona / Shutterstock

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Keep reading Show less
Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less