Competing on analytics – the fantasy baseball way

Opening day is almost here. Are you prepared as these number-crunching data scientists?

Over the next few weeks, tens of thousands will pore over an immense data set to gain an advantage in the intensely competitive world of fantasy baseball. They all have the same data, yet many will have a significantly better draft strategy — and it won’t be based on team colors. So how can we apply some of their tactics to the business world where the stakes are higher, just maybe not as personal.

Have a clear picture of success. Each league has a published scoring system that determines the winner. Has your team agreed on what a great outcome looks like? If you are working with key performance indicators, a good way toward becoming more actionable is to build a composite performance score. Then, make sure everyone understands how the measures interacted to create that result.

Have a decision-making plan. When a rival drafts your next pick, you need some moves in mind. In a world of growing data volumes, the tendency is to focus even more on the data instead of having a crystal clear view of what the organization is trying to achieve. The data should play a supporting role to key business decisions.

Have a technology advantage. Fantasy players know even the slightest edge can deliver first place! New business intelligence tools are challenging status-quo thinking. Non-technical staff can directly access corporate data sets (goodbye exporting to Excel) and visually explore information as easily as moving objects in the latest iPhone gaming app.

Here’s to your championship trophy. Begin using these ideas to move from fantasy league victor to superstar at work!