Monday, January 31, 2022

Statistics for Decision Makers: 2021 AVCA Convention Presentation

I presented at the 2021 American Volleyball Coaches Association convention on December 16, 2021. Thanks to all who attended and to my friends that gave me valuable feedback as I prepared. Thanks also to the AVCA for selecting me to present.

This presentation changed a great deal from when it was conceived until it was presented. As a result, the description in the program wasn't exactly what was on display. While that discrepancy does bother me, I am much happier with the presentation that I ultimately gave. Looking back, here's how I would summarize it now:
As coaches, we are always engaged in a Search: to be better than our opponents and to be better than our previous selves. We would like to think that we our Searches would be better if they were data-driven but the truth is that we can't let the data do the driving. Our worlds are more complex than we think and we can be easily fooled if we're not careful. If we are to use statistical analysis in our decision making, then we need to better understand not only how statistics work but how our brains and contexts influence which statistics matter.

Here's my video from the seminar:

You can access the AVCA's recordings as well:
Audio-only version (Someone even took the time to edit out the discussion times when I wasn't speaking)
Video version

Here are my slides:
PDF Version
Power Point Version

Here are links for the recommended reading:
Kahneman, D., Sibony, O., & Sunstein, C. R. (2021). Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment. Little, Brown.
Mlodinow, L. (2009). The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives. Pantheon Books.
Schulz, K. (2010). Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error. HarperCollins.
Wheelan, C. (2013). Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data. W. W. Norton & Company.

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