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Student Success

Meet NC State students and alumni who have used their passion for sports and penchant for data crunching to become MVPs in sports analytics.

When you watch sports like baseball or basketball, you focus on the athletes, the score, the big plays. But for the sports analysts behind the scenes — and those who rely on them — the game is much bigger.

In recent years, teams and leagues’ ability to gather data has exploded. Wearable technology, like the tiny sensors embedded in NFL players’ shoulder pads, has made it possible to gather statistics on players’ speed, health and accuracy in real time. And teams are hiring all sorts of data experts who break down the numbers in new ways long after the game is over.

This explosion in sports data analysis is changing the way teams evaluate players and run their businesses. Teams looking to make more money and get a competitive advantage (that is, all of them) rely on data analysts to develop strategies on everything from what type of offense to run to which players to draft.

NC State students have been standing out in this hot field, thanks in part to valuable research opportunities, coursework and mentoring by faculty. The sports analytics market is expected to reach almost $4 billion by 2022, part of a rise in overall demand for statisticians and mathematicians. Graduates of our highly-ranked statistics and mathematics programs are right in the thick of the action.

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