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Business Intelligence

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  • 20 Sep 2018

    Corpses on Everest

    There is an internet meme which simply reads: “Every corpse on Mount Everest was once an extremely motivated person”.

    While parodying motivational posters, it is also – probably unintentionally – an insight into the fallacy of analysing success. An analysis of people who successfully scaled Mount Everest, for example, might reveal a list of common […]

  • 07 Sep 2018

    Apples with caviar

    How do we know that we’re doing a good job?

    Talk to most CEOs in listed companies and they will tell you that the company’s share price is the ultimate barometer of their performance. Business strategy is therefore often in service to the share price as it provides the clearest and quickest affirmation of success.

    Our equivalent in […]

  • 23 Aug 2018

    Old dog, new tricks

    Thomas Kuhn, in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions suggests that new ideas, regardless of the strength of evidence that underpins them, are only adopted once they are no longer considered ‘new’. He argues that this requires a change, not in how the ideas are viewed, but in who is viewing them.

    It is […]

  • 14 Jun 2018

    How to forecast the World Cup

    Predicting the outcome of the World Cup is difficult. There aren’t that many international matches, and the squads are constantly changing anyway. At 21st Club, we have two different approaches for forecasting international competitions.

    Our League of Nations model incorporates results from national team matches, including tournaments, qualifiers and friendlies, to estimate how good every national […]

  • 31 May 2018

    From prediction to decision

    Back in August, like fans and pundits across the world our UK football department sat down and made predictions for the Premier League season. We each wrote down how many points we thought each team would get, giving an overall predicted league table.

    It would be easy to forget about these and say that we knew […]

  • 26 Apr 2018

    A Rooney Rule

    In England there is increasing discussion about implementing the Rooney Rule, the NFL policy that requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coach roles. The rule has proved a success in the NFL, and would likely go some way to correcting the underrepresentation of ethnic minority coaches in England.

    One of the reasons the policy […]

  • 12 Apr 2018

    The irony of Moneyball

    The irony of Moneyball is that it is a story, and the Oakland A’s management hated stories.

    That story is now well-told:

    The antagonists – old school scouts – used narratives (“ugly girlfriend”, “presence”, “a tools guy”) to draw conclusions on players.
    The protagonists – Bill James, Billy Beane and sabermetricians – used data to try […]

  • 25 Jan 2018

    The Money League trend

    The 21st annual Deloitte Money League report highlights the rate of financial growth at the top of the game, with revenues up 6% in the top 20 and as much as 58% for Leicester City and 46% for Internazionale.

    Combined with our own World Super League, which ranks teams globally in one ‘league table’ based on […]

  • 18 Jan 2018

    The squad behind the squad

    The focus at this time of year is often on investing in players who can help us win in the short-term. However, it is investment in non-playing staff that ultimately creates the processes and culture that drive sustainable success.

    Investing in non-playing staff is rarely straightforward. Firstly, there’s the pressure to win the next game […]