If you type the words “business intelligence expert” in Google. you may get the top ranked result as http://goo.gl/pCqUh or Peter James Thomas, a profound name as it can be as it spans three of the most important saints in the church.
The current post for this is very non business -intelligence topic called Wager. http://peterjamesthomas.com/2011/07/20/wager/
It details how Peter, a virtual friend whom I have never met, and who looks suspiciously like Hugh Grant with the hair, and Ajay Ohri (myself) waged a wager on which cricket team would emerge victorious in the ongoing test series . It was a 4 match series, and India needed to win atleast the series or avoid losing it by a difference of 2, to retain their world cricket ranking (in Tests) as number 1.
Sadly at the end of the third test, the Indian cricket team have lost the series, the world number 1 ranking, and some serious respect by 3-0.
What is a Test Match? It is a game of cricket played over 5 days.
Why was Ajay so confident India would win. Because India won the one day world championship this April 2011. The one day series is a one day match of cricket.
There lies the problem. From an analytic point of view, I had been lulled into thinking that past performance was an indicator of future performance, indeed the basis of most analytical assumptions. Quite critically, I managed to overlook the following cricketing points-
1) Cricket performance is different from credit performance. It is the people and their fitness.
India’s strike bowler Zaheer Khan was out due to injury, we did not have any adequate replacement for him. India’s best opener Virender Sehwag was out due to shoulder injury in the first two tests.
Moral – Statistics can be misleading if you do not apply recent knowledge couple with domain expertise (in this case cricket)
2) What goes up must come down. Indeed if a team has performed its best two months back, it is a good sign that cyclicality will ensure performance will go down.
Moral- Do not depend on regression or time series with ignoring cyclical trends.
3) India’s cricket team is aging. England ‘s cricket team is youthful.
I should have gotten this one right. One of the big and understated reasons that the Indian economy is booming -is because we have the youngest population in the world with a median age of 28.
India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% hovers below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan; and, by 2030, India’s dependency ratio should be just over 0.4
India’s population is 1.21 billion people, so potentially a much larger pool of athletes , once we put away our laptops that is.
the total population of the United Kingdom was 58,789,194 (I dont have numbers for average age)
Paradoxically India have the oldest cricket team in the world . This calls for detailed investigation and some old timers should give way to new comers after this drubbing.
Moral- Demographics matters. It is the people who vary more than any variable.
4) The Indian cricket team has played much less Test cricket and much more 20:20 and one day matches. 20:20 is a format in which only twenty overs are bowled per side. In Test Matches 90 overs are bowled every day for 5 days.
Stamina is critical in sports.
Moral- Context is important in extrapolating forecasts.
Everything said and done- the English cricket team played hard and fair and deserve to be number ones. I would love to say more on the Indian cricket team, but I now intend to watch Manchester United play soccer.