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World Cup Management: Data Or Intuition?
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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 7:08:40 PM
Re: Ja Wohl Deutschland!
@lufu- I like the vuvuzelas. :)

Yes, I agree. There is a real joy and camraderie around soccer. I like the singing. I especially like how the Arsenal fans sing "You Never Walk Alone" win, lose, or draw. It seems like a nice sentiment. As long as there are Arsenal fans none of them is alone. 

OK, I'm getting overly sentimental about soccer now. :)
LUFU
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LUFU,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 6:56:47 PM
Re: Ja Wohl Deutschland!
@David - I always get the sense there is more "joy" in fans (excluding the hooligans) for football AKA, soccer in the US, than other sports. The first time I got the sense of the game and its relevance was back in '78 in an Istanbul cafe without about 100 people congregating around a small black and white TV watching Argentina vs The Netherlands. None of us at the cafe were from those countries but everyone sided with one team or the other and were rooting them on with fervor and enthusiasm. It was a definite worldwide event.

Another time when the US was hosting the World Cup in '94, I was working near Los Gatos in California and that's where the Brazilian team was staying. Every night was Carnivale in Los Gatos with streets, bars, and restaurants just packed with Brazilians, fans, and a party-till-the-cows-come-home joie de vivre the town never experienced before or after.

But can we can the Vuvuzelas?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 6:14:07 PM
Re: Ja Wohl Deutschland!
@lufu- I suspect they'd help anyone who paid. But this does bring up the story I promised to tell about why I cheer for Italy.

Back a few World Cups ago, the US was on a little bit of a surprise run while I was living in Europe. The World Cup is a whole different level of reality in Europe. I watched most of the games in town squares across the continent with thousands of other fans watching big screen TVs. There was a crazy amount of singing and dancing and chanting. It was quite awesome.

However, while we were in Italy, the Italians were shockingly eliminated. We left the square (I think it was in Naples) and let the poor Italians mourn. We went into a restaurant that was entirely empty except for us. There were 8 servers (clealry they were expecting a celebration rush) all in the restaurant just looking sad. Then one of them came up to us and said, "Now that the Italians have been eliminated I'm pulling for USA to win the World Cup. Your team is very nice. You play the game very well."

In a moment of sports mourning, a perfect stranger took the time to say something nice about my team. And needless to say, Americans tourists aren't welcome everywhere. So unless it is the US vs Italy, I always cheer for Italy for a nice waiter at a little restaurant of a town square in Italy. 
LUFU
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LUFU,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 6:03:48 PM
Ja Wohl Deutschland!
Well, SAP just alienated some of their World Cup customers by helping out Germany. Maybe Larry Ellison should kick in some support for the US team to balance the playing field. Or they could  throw-in some pro bono consulting support to Ecuador (#32 rank) to demonstrate real-time data management. Just a thought.
jastro
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jastro,
User Rank: Ninja
6/10/2014 | 5:21:13 PM
Meet the New Game, Same as the Old Game
>> I'm saying that, to make a good data-driven decisions, you need good data, and good data is found, not in its bigness, but in its rightness. And that's going to take your intuition, whether you like it or not, to figure out what's good and what's bad.

>> But at the same time, you can't assume your intuition is enough.

@dave  --  It sounds like you are looking for the perfect world. Forget Billy Beane. Beane is now Brad Pitt. Here's a quote from Joe Ripp, CEO, Time Magazine:

>>"I can't fix it," Mr. Ripp has said repeatedly in meetings with senior managers. "You have to figure out a way to fix it."

That's yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 4:44:43 PM
Re: Whose intuition
@Lorna- Exactly. Which is why management will never really die in the face of data. I think data scientists working for IT can help, but they can never replace the understand of the business. As with everything else in IT, it should be there to serve and transform the business, not act on its behalf. 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/10/2014 | 4:40:58 PM
Whose intuition
The problem to me is that deciphering signal from noise in big data sets is not a job for IT. It's a job for someone intimately familiar with the business. However, how often is it someone in IT deciding what data feeds to add to a dashboard?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 4:01:57 PM
Re: a better test for big data
@Thomas- They no doubt have plenty of game data on corner kicks. Thousands of games across dozens of leagues with corner kicks analyzed both via video and through chips int he balls. 

The questions that seem difficult to answer are a) Does that alone move you from a 3rd place team to a first place team? b) Once everyone has the data, does it change? c) Even if it doesn't change (say it is just inherent to the game) how quickly is the advantage eroded by everyone copying?

It is a similar issue that companies face when they innovate and people quickly copy their efforts.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
6/10/2014 | 3:59:00 PM
a better test for big data
The Manchester City story is interesting. I wonder though whether this one anecdoate isn't cherry-picked to illustrate the value of big data. Do we have a broad enough set of example teams using such data to conclude that it improves outcomes?
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