This is the part where it gets tricky: I am by no means a researcher and the last math class I took (and failed) was trig back in the dinosaur days. However, if you’re looking for a very good overview of hockey and big data, start with this article, Hockey and Big Data, that was posted on TechCrunch by Nick Rojas and John Siegel.
The article discusses the various sources for and use of big data to improve a team’s winning record. The authors site several data sources including HockeyAnalysis.com and its new advanced site Puckalytics. By the “numbers,” there’s HARO, HARD, and HART ratings, one can also track the rise of fall of fighting in the NHL, there’s the 5-on-5 close percentage, and NHLNumbers breaks down the correlation between scoring chances and shot totals, and with terms like Corsi, Fenwick and PDO (three important data points), the conversation (if you try to follow it like me), gets really confusing.
All that said, Moneypuck’s article, Why Most People Need To Shut Up About ‘Advanced Stats’ In The NHL is a quick and easy read on where hockey and big data is at these days. Other factors, says the TechCrunch article, like fan analytics will also have some impact on the game, as well, as the internet of things continues to evolve and impact a bunch of guys on ice skates with sticks. This is BIG BUSINESS!