As we learned from Brad Pitt in Moneyball, data analytics has always been a huge part of the professional sports industry. Data gives coaches and managers clear insight into anything from determining player talent and ability, optimizing match-ups, and more.
With all the available data sources these days, however – Statcast, NBA Player Tracking, PITCHf/x, NFL Next Gen Stats, FIELDf/x, HITf/x, etc. – it can be nearly impossible to analyze all of the available data to get meaningful, actionable insights that can improve performance outcomes. There are a myriad of additional challenges to applying machine learning to sports analytics as well, including the lack of available data scientists and the long time horizons of traditional data science projects.
However, DataRobot has thrown a curveball to the sports analytics practice in the form of automated machine learning.