The movie Moneyball, among many things, can be considered as the prime example of data-driven performance optimization in sports.
For those who haven’t watched the movie or read the book it is based on, it depicts the story of how the Oakland Athletics’ general manager, Billy Beane, used statistical data and analytics to build a competitive team despite the team’s small budget. His team, which was assembled by analyzing individual statistics of players, data mainly acquired free, went on to have an unexpectedly prolific season and reached unprecedented heights. During the historic season of 2002, the Oakland Athletics competed with and held their own against the best teams in Major League Baseball (MLB), whose budgets far outweighed their own. The team’s achievements — the most remarkable being their famous 20-game winning streak — showed how a data-driven approach can, to a great extent, compensate for a lack of resources and enhance performance by enabling effective decision-making.
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