CHAPTER8

The Next Billion-Dollar IPO: Big Data Entrepreneurship

Drive Data Like Billy Beane

As the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics, Billy Beane faced a problem. Beane and the Oakland A’s had to field a competitive team without the big market budget of a team like the New York Yankees. In a story made famous by the movie Moneyball and the book of the same name by Michael Lewis, Beane turned to data and statistics.

This approach is known as sabermetrics, a term coined by baseball writer and statistician Bill James. Sabermetrics is a derivative of SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research. It is “the search for objective knowledge about baseball.”1

At the time, Beane’s data-driven approach was widely criticized. ...

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