Tag Archives: statistics

Quantitative Analysis: Fantasy Football

As most of you know, I’m a huge fantasy football junkie.  I spend a disproportionate amount of my time on Sunday mornings getting my lineups ready based on research I’ve done during the week thru various forms:  XM Radio Fantasy Football Channel, FFLibrarian, Rotowire (Subscription), The Huddle (Subscription), and even simply talking to players.

I stumbled across Numberfire (I hate the name) from a friend of mine and did some research and saw that they were recently written up on TechCrunch.  Numberfire applies data mining and statistical analysis to determine which fantasy football players to sit and/or start each week… they accomplish this by looking at many different data points that affect a players outcome such as the player itself, his team, his competition, and other factors.

They just released their Week 1 analysis of performance and it turns out:

The two key metrics are that I beat both ESPN (59%) and Yahoo! (77%). There’s not much analysis that needs to be derived from that statistic. All of made projections; I was right more often and in the case of Yahoo!, almost embarrassingly so.

The smaller, but equally interesting metrics are the deltas, or the difference between a projection and the actual result. My deltas were lower than both (ie: were more accurate), and the difference between the projections themselves would have caused a 10.8 point difference over Yahoo! and a staggering 16.2 point difference over ESPN.

Not bad.  I’m thinking of converting one of my teams (out of 3) to be based on the numberfire analysis system and seeing how I perform this season.

What I don’t like about numberfire (maybe because I haven’t found it) is that the algorithm they use to score the players is a black box.  I hate black boxes.  Maybe this will change over time.

Needless to say, quantitative analysis can help make decisions, especially when there are lots of data points.  We obviously used this thesis when creating Varick Media Management and we’re seeing similar awesome results.

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Visual NFL Statistics

I’ve been playing around with dashboards, statistics, and different ways of reporting information lately and there are endless ways to visualize information.  There is an entire industry for this.

Since the NFL season has just started and there is a wealth of data that comes out of every game, I thought I’d crunch it and visualize it so we can look at it in different ways.  This is also self-serving because I’m in two fairly rigorous fantasy football leagues and I want to see the data as well.

Take a peek at GoalLine.tv, my new site that showcases NFL data.  In the coming weeks, I may add a fantasy football show (weekly show 3-5 mins) but for now, check out the data each week.

NFL Rushing TDs

The above player clowd showcases rushing TD’s.  Please note it only includes this past Thursday and this afternoon’s games, excluding the late game this evening and tomorrow’s Monday night game.  I don’t see LT on this, do you?  Michael Turner??

Technology, Stats & Fantasy Football

It’s that time of year when all of us football fans get excited and eagerly anticipate Thursday night’s opening game of the NFL’s 89th season.  As many of you know, I’m a Giants fan and am coming off a Super Bowl season so there is increased interest amongst many NY’ers as it’s not often we get to be ontop of the NFL.

In the office, we have a pretty rigorous fantasy football league that 12 of us are participating in and there has already been quite a bit of trash talking occuring.  This is my first year participating in fantasy football and I’m really looking forward to it.  From 1995-2002, I participated in an NHL Sim league and each year, I have the brackets filled out for the NCAA basketball, but never really participated in a full-on sports league.

Last Wednesday evening, we drafted our teams in the conference room and I came with roughly 50 pages of printouts of statistics and mock-drafts and a magazine that I had spent $7.99 on that was dedicated to Fantasy Football.  One of my colleagues sitting next to me only had his iPhone which was loaded with an app called Fantasy Football Draft Central.  No papers, no magazines, he was ready to go with just his iPhone.  Genius move.

Throughout the entire draft, he marked off who was taken and the application told him who was the best available player for his roster – saved him a lot of time and made him a ton more efficient than me who had to scramble through multiple sheets of paper which became totally inefficient at times.

I did some research after the fact (I wish I had done it prior) and came across Draft Analyzer, which is a player recommendation engine for fantasy football drafts.

Both the iPhone application and this Draft Analyzer process through thousands of players to make recommendations based on player statistics.  Are the top players recommended going to perform best?  Not all the time as you can never predict injuries, overachievers, etc – but it’s great for guidance.

Fantasy Football is a big industry.  In 2006, I wrote a posting about Fantasy Sports for Marketers and how it’s a $1.5 billion dollar industry.  Fantasy Football alone, as a search term has 71,400,000 results in Google.  Google AdSense has filled all paid search results around the term and I imagine it’s hyper competitive.

What’s most interesting to me here is the use of technology in a Moneyball like setting for fantasy sports.  I didn’t use it for my work draft but will test it for my league with my buddies from my home town.  Lets see if it works.

There’s even a Social Media league in which some of my friends including Joseph Jaffe and David Knox are playing in.  You can read an updae of their draft over at David’s blog.

Where Analytics Are Heading: The Woopra Terminal

One of my colleagues in the office told me about a website statistics service named Woopra (he knows I love quantitative data). I had not heard about it prior, so I went a did a little research around the Internet about it. Apparently, it launched on/around May 30 2008, as it’s relatively new, but had a nice little writeup on TechCrunch. I did some Tweet tracking and saw that a healthy early adapter audience was using it.

What is Woopra you ask? Very simply: MyBlogLog meets Google Analytics and has a baby, and then morphs into a Bloomberg Terminal of the next century. Very, very interesting, at least to me it is. I’ve taken some screenshots of my Woopra Terminal and put them below for you to see:

Woopra Image 1

Woopra Image 2

What I like about Woopra is that it gives me information in near real-time and tells me where my audience is going and where they have been on my website. Generally, all of the data exists on server logs, but I like the advanced graphical representation of my data. In the screenshots above, you can see the ticker on the bottom of the page that scrolls with data from the server.

Woopra is going to run into some issues when large publishers start signing up. They are in beta right now which is very smart and limiting their service to publishers who are less than 10,000 page views. I’m speculating that the reason for this is because the amount of resources it takes to crunch all of the data is fairly intensive and that they want to work out all of the kinks before they start charing. I’m interested to learn how their infrastructure is built – are they using Amazon’s EC2?

What I’d like to see is Woopra share network data information.  Meaning, if I track a view on my site and rename them, I’d like to see that “renamed” person across the entire Woopra network.  There is a lot of information in the larger “network” – lets see if Woopra pools that data.

I also give them credit for the slick interface.

Mobile Wednesdays

I’ve been meeting with mobile marketing startups for the last 6 years but have always remained hesitant to participate in the space because of the current infrastructure and mobile marketing initiatives. I guess all of the research and constant phone calls have softened me up to the mobile world and last week, posted about the iPhone.

I was reading some research this morning and wanted to share these tidbits from both Nielsen (mobile stats overall) and Rubicon Consulting (iPhone data):

  • A third of iPhone users carry a second phone. There have been anecdotal reports of iPhone users carrying a second mobile phone, either for basic voice calling, or for other functions like composing e-mail. The survey confirmed those reports.
  • A quarter of iPhone users say it’s displacing a notebook computer. 28% of iPhone users surveyed said strongly that they often carry their iPhone instead of a notebook computer.
  • The iPhone increases phone bills. The iPhone has increased its users’ monthly mobile phone bills by an average of 24%, or $228 extra per year.
  • E-mail is the #1 function. The most heavily used data function on the iPhone is reading (but not writing) e-mail.

Note that the iPhone data is skewed towards the early adopters.  I’m not sure that the mainstream adopters are going to replace their computer for an iPhone but this data is indicative of how mobile may shape the future.  The Nielsen report is located here if you’d like to read it.

MediaPost sent out a research brief this morning (I usually ignore them) and had some interesting information:

  • The number of data users who recalled seeing mobile advertising between the second and fourth quarters of 2007 increased 38% (from 42 to 58 million subscribers)
  • Asian-Americans and African-Americans are more likely to recall mobile advertising (42% and 40%, respectively) than all data users
  • 26% of those who saw an ad responded at least once by sending an SMS text-message, the most popular ad response.  9% say they’ve used click-to-call to respond to a mobile ad
  • 32% of data users said they are open to mobile advertising if it lowers their overall bill

These numbers are impressive but I’m assuming the response rate will drop as the medium becomes cluttered.  I’m personally not sold about getting SMS marketing on my mobile phone as that tends to remind me of SPAM in the days of email marketing.  The response rates for email marketing were extremely high in the early days but as the medium got cluttered, they dropped significantly.

Initial Thoughts as an Author (stats, etc)

First off, thank you to everyone who has purchased my first book, Coloring Outside the Lines. I’ve gotten quite a few requests to follow up my book launch with details and statistics and I think it’s about time I shared them.

As it turns out, 62% of you preferred to order the print version of Coloring Outside the Lines where 38% went digital. In the first 24 hours, 60% of the overall books were sold. The average size of a book order is 1.1.

The stats on the banner ad that you see on this site (and HermanWeb.us) delivered a 3.23% CTR in the first week of the book launch (just the banner, not counting other links).  In the month of March, the banner delivered a 2.00% CTR and in April, 1.5%.  The banner was never creatively refreshed.

I’m not surprised that 60% of the overall books were sold within the first 24 hours. The book business is similar to a hit driven business (video games, Hollywood, music) where upon release, most transactions are completed (be it opening weekend or CD release). I’m fairly certain there will be additional sales of the book every so often, but the 24 hours surrounding the launch was the big bang.

Note: I chose not to go with a big publisher for the release of this book as I wasn’t trying to set NY Times Bestseller records and I didn’t want to sign my life away to a publisher (having spent time in the music world, I know what a deal looks like). Had I gone with a big publisher, the hooplah surrounding the book launch and retail promotion would have been exponentially greater, but I’ve proven to myself that if you can create awareness and solve a need, a book can sell on its own and can generate revenue (not peanuts).

Thank you again for everyone who sent in their comments and thoughts – it’s certainly been a learning experience for me and the initial reactions from everyone have been awesome. Fee free to leave a comment or contact me if you want to speak further about the book.

Top 10 Web Brands: Online Video

I was reading through some morning newsletters and MediaPost had an article about the Top 10 Web Brands. I copied the chart to this blog, but the article from MediaPost can be found here.

What I find interesting about these numbers is that online video seems to be all of the hype but it’s got one of the least amount of time per person in December 2007 according to Nielsen Online. Maybe numbers will increase because of the Writers Strike?

Numbers can be sliced and diced a million different ways but this was an initial observation.

A video company that I find extremely interesting is Next New Networks (my broher no longer works there) and their hyperdistribution model. They will have an issue with this type of analytics because their videos are all around the web, distributed across many different types of sites.

Second Life Statistics… Sharing my research

Second Life LogoI have a whole section on this blog dedicated to virtual worlds as I’m fascinated by what they stand for. When you look at them from a macro lense, they potentially are teasing us as to what the web will become in the next few years. Wow. That’s fairly powerful.

Linden Lab, the maker of the ever popular Second Life has just released some significant raw data about the virtual world. Most people would never find this data but I was tipped off by a friend within the organization and while I thumbed through it, it was hard to follow because of all the numbers. I quickly turned these numbers into charts and pictures – and created a document (SecondLifeStats.pdf) to share with the world.

Who should read this document?

  • Any Second Life residents
  • Any marketers looking to launch some form of campaign/brand within Second Life or any virtual world
  • Futurists
  • People with a lot of time to kill

On a regular schedule, Linden Lab updates their Economic Statistics page which keeps us all informed of the ongoings of their economy. The data below was taken from their 2/6/2007 extraction.

Residents Logged-In During Last 7 Days 326,483
Residents Logged-In During Last 14 Days 487,651
Residents Logged-In During Last 30 Days 787,693
Residents Logged-In During Last 60 Days 1,122,586

The PDF is located here as a free download (~3.9mb), and goes much more in depth and hopefully sheds some light as to the population, currency, demographics, residents, and more. Enjoy it. Feel free to spread the world as well- bloggers, press, and anyone else – but please comment and send me feedback. I really look forward to hearing from you.