As analysts, we’re often tasked with solving problems, asking questions, and finding insights quickly. Is your “plumbing” built to help you do this?
Let’s pretend it’s 5:30PM and you have to get a pasta dinner on the table in the next 15 minutes. No big deal as long as you have running water to fill your pot. You don’t have to first check the pipes or go into the basement to adjust a pressure valve – you just turn on the faucet to get the water you need and then you can make dinner.
What does running water & pasta have to do with sports business analytics? Well, do you want to be the plumber, or the cook?
Those of us in BI roles are continuously faced with questions that must be answered not just accurately, but also quickly. We usually don’t have the luxury of weeks or even days to do the analysis, especially during the chaos of the season. We need to get dinner on the table quickly to keep everyone happy.
With a well-built data infrastructure, an analyst can simply turn on the faucet by connecting to their data warehouse or other source system to get the right data in the right format with the right accuracy to cook the pasta.
A key question that every organization needs to ask is, “do you want to run all the pipes yourself or do you want to have a plumber do it for you?” The right answer will vary depending on your organization, the same way it would vary at home.
Maybe you’re the home owner and you also happen to be very handy. In that case, you can probably run the plumbing yourself (and maybe even enjoy it!). Running your own BI plumbing will require that you have enough development resources with the right skills and familiarity with your systems to be successful.
Or, you could contract the plumbing out to a licensed professional. For sports teams, that “license” would be someone who is an official integration partner for your ticketing data, which is almost always your most important source system.
At the end of the day, the work of your BI staff can only be as good as the source of data they are working with. So whatever path you take, you need to be confident that when you turn on the faucet, you get what you need.
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