Data vs Information

I had a conversation last weekend with someone who is a Six Sigma Black Belt. The first thing that came to mind was ‘this guy could probably kick my ass’ but then I remembered he said ‘six sigma’ first. So, he could probably just kick my ass at running a manufacturing plant. But one of the things that stood out was he talked about the difference between data and information.

Data is just the numbers – the points scored, shots taken, turnovers made – and it can even be taken a step further when plugged into a formula – the effective field goal percentage, rebounding percentage, etc. It’s just a lot of numbers.

Information is the actual knowledge you can process from that data. So, you have a really bad rebounding percentage but what does that really tell you about your team and what adjustments you need to make either in your practice drills or substitution patterns in order to change that number.

Bridging that gap between data and information is the next challenge for basketball coaches. If you don’t already have data, you’re probably going to get some data soon either from StatGeek or some other service. What we strive to do at StatGeek is to bridge that gap, whether you’re using our data or it’s from somewhere else. If you feel like you need help building that bridge, reach out and let’s get to work.

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