Have you hired your personal data analyst yet?
The New York Times last week reported on how professional athletes are now hiring personal numbers crunchers. These dataheads compile arcane statistics on the player’s performance, for example, in hoops, the percentage of shots made after taking two dribbles. The goal is both feedback improve his performance, and a data portfolio to use at contract negotiation time.
The stats revolution in sports has reached the point where fans now routinely cite performance metrics that were once utterly obscure. For example, in the NBA, the PER. That stands for Player Efficiency Rating, which measures per-minute productivity. In baseball, the leader in obscure stats, the golden stat is WAR, which stands for Wins Above Replacement. This omnibus metric purports to establish how many wins a player adds to his team’s season total.
All of which got me to wondering what kind of stats a datahead might compile on me as I go through daily life trying to be journalist, a husband and a dad.
The weekly report might sound something like this:
This week, Satullo’s HER improved slightly from 11 to 8. HER is Homonym Error Rate, the number of times per week a writer confuses the spelling of soundalike words like T-H-E-R-E and T-H-E-I-R.
Sadly, though, his ANMI dropped sharply from 73 percent to 52 percent. ANMI stands for Acquaintance Name Memory Index, the percentage of times a person remembers, without prompting, the name of someone they’ve met at least three times before. Pundits called this another troubling indicator that the crafty righthander is feeling the impacts of age and too many Yuengling lagers.
Also, in bad news for domestic harmony, Satullo’s STPE declined for a fourth week. The Spousal Task Performance Efficiency metric measures successful completion of simple, how-could-you-possibly-forget this? requests such as picking up some 2 percent milk on the way home.
Meanwhile, his CPQ, or Couch Potato Quotient, hovered near the danger zone. The CPQ divides the number of minutes spent watching televised sports by the number of minutes spent performing aerobic exercise. For the 43d week in a row, Satullo’s ratio topped the Couch Potato cutoff line of 8 to 1. Satullo’s comment: “Hey, cut me a break, it was NFL draft week, plus NBA playoffs.”
Finally, the man’s TCT, or Triscuits Consumption Total, has been referred to the Guinness Book of World Records for consideration.
Better living through the statistics? Thanks, but there are some numbers I’d just rather not know.