Announcing The 2021 SIS Analytics Challenge
Update: The competition will be held August 4 at 8pm ET. Come back here for the YouTube link.
Sports Info Solutions (SIS) has recently made it a priority to make a bigger social impact. One of the initiatives we’ve undertaken has been the SIS Analytics Challenge, which shares some of our proprietary data with prospective researchers if they make a donation to a partner charity.
Last year’s contest produced some great research projects that considered which defensive line position was the most valuable, and, more importantly, raised $4,382 for the United Negro College Fund.
The competition’s winner, Emmett Kiernan, is now a full-time data scientist for a startup performing European soccer research and development, and finalists Andrew Rogan and Zach Feldman recently landed jobs with the Baltimore Ravens and Next Gen Stats, respectively. While we at SIS certainly can’t take credit for these individuals’ professional achievements, we do find it exciting that last year’s challenge was able to showcase the work of rising stars within the sports research industry.
We want this year’s contest to be even more competitive and raise even more money for charity. Our goal is to raise upwards of $10,000 for The Boys and Girls Clubs of America and we think this year’s format will help us reach that target.
Rather than pose a single question like last year, there will be two separate research tracks this year. In addition to a football analytics question, we’re also presenting a sports betting question.
For those interested in the football analytics track, we’re asking you to identify the most popular route concepts in the NFL in 2020, as well as ascertain which concepts perform the best versus the different coverage types. We will furnish all the necessary data for you to attack this problem, provided you make a minimum $1 donation to The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
If you are interested in developing betting insights, then we’d like you to consider how much of an effect quarterbacks and wide receivers should have on point spreads. SIS will once again provide the relevant data should you choose this track, and we’d like to reiterate that the $1 minimum donation still applies.
With any luck, one of these tracks will appeal to you and we also hope that the opportunity to compete with other skilled up-and-comers and present your work to some industry titans, will excite you. Last year’s judging panel included our own Matt Manocherian, Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz, and the Colts’ Director of Research, John Park. Each track will have a separate judging panel and we’re excited to announce them all in the leadup to the final event. In the meantime, you can learn more about the competition and the datasets here.
If the competition isn’t for you, then we understand and would just ask you to consider making a donation to The Boys and Girls of Clubs of America. The organization has been providing valuable after-school activities for children for over 150 years. You can donate here.