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What Do Fantasy Football and Business Intelligence Have in Common?

Performance metrics, projections, informed decisions… surprisingly or not, we’re talking about fantasy football here. If you’re one of the millions who play fantasy sports, you already know that a lot of the language used by business analysts is interchangeable with how your team, and teams like Game of Jones, Dez Dispensers and Hooked on a Thielen, are doing this season. That’s because more and more, just like in business, gut decisions are being replaced by data-driven ones.

“It may seem odd at first to draw parallels between fantasy football and business intelligence,” says John Hathorn of MicroStrategy partner Automated Insights, “but the core facets that underlie both BI and fantasy sports are more similar than one may think. One of the clearest parallels is structured data. Behind those incredibly comprehensive dashboards full of visualizations lie a huge amount of structured data.

“Both also employ natural language generation (NLG), which is the process of taking structured data and automatically turning it into words,” notes Hathorn. In Yahoo! Fantasy Football, NLG's use can be seen in the sometimes snarky weekly recaps. In 2016, Automated Insights produced more than 1.5 billion fantasy sports related narratives that include not just recaps, but summaries, player reports, and even articles. This same technology is what empowers businesses to democratize business intelligence and quickly present important information in a familiar, easy-to-understand way.

“The ability to analyze massive amounts of data quickly and correctly is one of the most sought-after skills in the modern data analysis, data science, and overall business landscape,” notes Hathorn. “By utilizing an NLG engine such as Ai's Wordsmith, analysis and reporting can be completely automated and scaled, but better yet, to the level of the best data scientist or analysis team within an organization whose skills and time are often in short supply.

“Within BI, NLG is like a personal data expert sitting down with each employee, clearly explaining trends and insights critical to business decision making. In fantasy football, this means managers can become their own data expert, sharing (or not sharing) insights such as, “if I played you every week, I’d have a 79.2% chance of going undefeated.”

No matter whether you’re sitting on the couch trying to figure out how to get your team to the playoffs, or sitting in the office trying to figure out how to double sales by next year, NLG gives you a read on the data to help you make more informed decisions.

Want to see what a terrific team MicroStrategy, fantasy football, and NLG technology make? Check out this dossier we put together on fantasy football.

Interested in learning more about how NLG can be used to create automated, written narratives that make it faster and easier for people to understand business data? Watch this on-demand webcast from MicroStrategy and Automated Insights.

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