Show Me What I’m Looking For

Generally, algorithm systems set up by businesses work. They give management the important information and correlations needed to make the right decisions. If the system didn’t work, a new one would be set-up in its place. In one intriguing case, analyzing and correlating the data is so difficult, that majority of the businesses constantly make the wrong decisions causing people to lose their jobs yearly. Welcome to the NFL Combine.  

The NFL Combine can be described as a human cattle call. Upcoming potential NFL players stand in a line and wait to be measured. Everything gets measured, from the height, weight, wingspan, to the hand size and feet size. Then there are the drills that measure the NFL data. The 40-yard dash measures speed, the cone drills measure quickness, the weights measure strength, the long jump measures explosiveness, and then there are the position-specific drills that measures throwing, hands, and technique. After all of that, players go through rounds of interviews and take the Wunderlick Test which measures IQ. After everything that can be measured is measured, the teams and analyze which players they will take in the upcoming NFL draft. With all the collected data, plus hours of game-tape, one would assume that teams have the data to make the right decisions. Yet year after year, teams miss on picking the right players which hurts the organization, staff, players, and fans.

So how can you fix an algorithmic system that is so unpredictable? The data is obviously important because the measured sets are translatable to football, and teams do use the data in making their choice. At the same time teams who rely to heavy on the data often times make mistakes and lose their jobs. There seems to be a negative relationship between the data set and outside factors. The more variables in the equation the less the data set is relevant. Immeasurable factors include the players love for football, their will, the fit within the system, personal factors, leadership etc. The logical endpoint is that the combine won’t change, however teams will try to find more data to record. This will in turn lower the variable risk and allow better decisions to be made.

NFL.com | Combine

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~ by digitalamericathebeautiful on March 2, 2012.

One Response to “Show Me What I’m Looking For”

  1. Wait a minute. This was really good, and you had me up to the very last sentence. If more variables means less relevant data and teams are looking for more data to keep the system running, how will that reduce the number of variables?

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