Talk: Quantitative Methods in Sports: Evolution and Application

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Sergi Oliva, Director of Analytics & Strategy at the Philadelphia 76ers

16 th February, 12:30 p.m. at Sala d'Actes, FME

Friday, February 16th, 12:30.
Place: Sala d'Actes, Facultat de Matemàtiques i Estadí­stica.
C. Pau Gargallo, 14. 08028 Barcelona


Starting with Baseball in the 90s, quantitative methods have creeped their way into all levels of decision-making in professional sports organizations. Even though this evolution has taken different forms and speeds depending on the sport or league, most have shared several common themes: the incremental availability of richer data sources fueled by a growing interest in their potential, the challenge in communicating actionable insights to very successful and traditionally-minded industry leaders, and, nonetheless, the overall evolution of the conventional standards towards more analytically-oriented principles. In this talk, focused primarily but not exclusively in basketball, we will have a brief look at the early stages of the field, before discussing the growth in its data sources, the type of research that was made possible, the transformational effects of some of those results in creating new strategical standards, and the challenges of implementing quantitative-based insights into the day-to-day decision-making of a sports organization.


Sergi Oliva is currently Director of Analytics & Strategy at the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He joined the team in 2014, after graduating from UPC - BarcelonaTech with a PhD in Computational Complexity. Prior to joining the 76ers, Sergi coached amateur basketball in Catalonia for 12 years, most recently at CB Hortonenc.

He is also a regular collaborator of the Catalan Basketball Federation (FCBQ), particularly as a lecturer in their coaching certification courses.

For futher information about Sergi, you can read a recent interview here: