Sports analytics is a field that studies the performance of athletes by collating past data and seeks to use such data to optimize performance, training, etc. Different mathematical and statistical principles come to bear in this field. Various sporting organizations recruit these professionals to provide in-depth analysis of every aspect of a player’s performance. After successfully analyzing the data collected, they advise sports franchises on strategies the team should take in a given sport on the field of play. They also help athletes to work on improving their game by showing them their weaknesses and recommending successful ways of doing things based on the analytics of the data collated.
Sports analytics also help sports organizations both on and off the field. The off-field analysis is particular about the business aspect of the team (helping them market the team and boost sales and revenue). However, the on-field research aims to improve the players’ fitness and overall tactics. It is also worth noting that sports analytics isn’t a degree program and can’t be studied in colleges.
In this regard, we have teamed up with professionals from job aggregator Jooble to discuss the procedures to get a job in sports analytics. Let’s explore more.
What Do I Need to Work in Sports Analytics?
You can secure a job in sports analytics if you have a degree in economics, statistics, or other similar courses. It will also help if you have relevant experience in sports analytics and data. Meanwhile, some employers won’t consider any candidate that doesn’t have at least a bachelor’s degree. But, many companies will accept you, provided you meet their minimum requirement of having a graduate degree.
Below are some of the tips to get you started as you are planning to develop a career in the sports analytics field:
- Familiarize Yourself With The Field
You can start by reading sports analytics content that comes your way. Reading books, magazines, and other related content will go a long way in setting you up for a successful career in this profession.
Furthermore, it would help if you read about sports, mainly the specific sport you plan to major in. You can learn much about the sport by watching it.
- Learn The Required Skills
This profession also requires that you equip yourself with skills like data mining and modeling, practical programming experience, graphics tools, and an excellent memory for facts. Therefore, if you want to get into this field, you can even learn to use programming languages like Python or the structured query language (SQL). The latter is the standard language for database management, and its use will help organize data correctly.
Statistical skills like regression, hypothesis testing, probability distribution, etc., are used daily. A degree in these fields is not necessarily needed, but you should have experience. There are available online courses that can help increase your knowledge in those fields.
- Look For Data Sources
Before starting any analytical work, it is essential to get the necessary data that will be sufficient for the job you want to do. Many online sources can provide free basic data on the sport you wish to explore.
Another thing to thrive in this field is knowing the questions to ask. Ensure you have enough data to provide valuable answers to almost any question that comes your way. You must also be proficient in writing and speaking, as you will need to leverage the skill to explain complex information and help others understand the importance of your data.
- Work On Projects
This is very important as you’ll get to use tools a lot, build your capacity, and add to your resume. This will expose you to techniques that can make the job much easier as you proceed in your career.
Executing projects for sports teams can make them consider hiring you. But if they don’t, other people interested in your work will reach out. You can also work closely with any of your school sports teams if you are a student. Doing this will prepare you for the task, and you can rest assured of thriving in the field when the right opportunity comes.
- Create Content
Posting your work on the internet is a great way to put yourself out there. You can showcase your skills to prospective employers by posting content about your work. You can also leverage social media pages to promote your work. For example, you can post videos of your work on YouTube, post links to your work on Twitter, and so on. You could probably create a brand for yourself and become someone people visit if they need sports data.
Anybody can work in the sports analytics field. However, you must be passionate about the job and follow the proper steps. Getting to the top isn’t easy in any area, and sports analytics is no different. All you need to do is be hard-working and consistent with your craft. Eventually, you will achieve your dream of having a successful career in sports analytics.