This really might be my favorite time of the year.
I mean, I love the holiday season, and the adolescent in me is still nostalgic every time spring turns to summer and signals the end of another school year. But as a HUGE sports fan, I’m never more engaged than I am right now. Mid-October finds us smack-dab in the middle of football season, deep into Major League Baseball playoffs (Go Giants!), and, most importantly, on the eve of the start of basketball season (my favorite sport).
I write an annual NBA season preview that I send to friends and fellow professional basketball fans. This year, the incorporation of analytics into scouting and coaching has undoubtedly sent the biggest shock through the basketball community, and thus, greatly impacted my predictions for the upcoming season. Even if you aren’t a sports fan, if you’re someone who has a professional interest in data capture and information management, this next statement should mean a lot to you: NBA teams can now reliably and accurately track data that was previously deemed irrelevant, such as the number of passes and dribbles performed in a game, and use it to predict outcomes like a team’s expected point total, an individual player’s offensive productivity, and even winning and losing!
“But Ryan, I’m more of a skydiving/crocheting/homebrewing enthusiast! What does all this basketball stuff mean to me?” You’re in the information governance space, right? Then you understand that if the capture and analysis of even the most mundane and seemingly useless information on a basketball court can help a team anticipate and gameplan better to increase its bottom line—winning vs. losing—certainly it can help improve your organization’s bottom line in areas like employee productivity, and even profitability!
If you’re a records manager, you’ve likely been able to see where I’m going with this from the beginning. It’s never been difficult to understand the value of seemingly useless data such as memos (“dribbles”) and emails (“passes”) carry on a daily basis within the organization, but we’re just now arriving to a point where we can use those data points to make more sense of our processes, our productivity and, ultimately, our bottom lines.
The more information you have, the more intelligent your decisions can be. This isn’t news. It’s common sense. Basketball teams have fearlessly ventured into the wild west of big data analytics to provide themselves with more information, and yet our titans of industry, the organizations that make up the foundation of our financial, healthcare and energy sectors, lag behind in both vision and infrastructure. What are we waiting for?
Time is money, folks. That’s never been truer than it is right now.