With the advent of big data, our ability to analyze sports and keep tabs on our favorite players is going to soar.
Take, for example, sports actuary John Dewan's dead-on projections for the 2012 Summer Olympics. With some help from the Wall Street Journal, Dewan created a computer model that simulated the entire Olympic games "hundreds" of times, and predicted the U.S. would win 108 medals. In the end, the U.S. took an eerily-close 104.
Ben Alamar, a statistics and economics professor at Menlo College in Atherton, Calif., has spent five years doing statistical analysis on teams including the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. In a white paper published by storage giant EMC, Alamar noted that a "big data" set in sports is minimal compared to even a "day's work at Google." But sports analysts are still mining in ways they never could before, meaning predictive analytics will become, well, even more predictive.