KPI Sports is a compilation of data, analytics, algorithms and analysis from Michigan State University Assistant Athletic Director Kevin Pauga.
The idea for KPI first came the summer of 2003 while a student manager for the basketball team at Michigan State and searching for a better way to calculate a team’s RPI. The Master Schedule file – “a great abuse of Microsoft Excel” (of which I was absolved in 2010) – has evolved incredibly over more than a decade – coming along for my rides as Video Coordinator at Michigan State, Data Analyst at the Big Ten Conference and back to Michigan State in 2009 as Director of Basketball Operations before moving into the role of Assistant Athletic Director at MSU in 2015. The name for the formula started as a pun from my initials (KP, also what most people call me) and doesn’t necessarily stand for anything. The “Kevin Pauga Index” has been its assumed meaning, but now that the KPI Sports idea is more than just one ranking system and formula, it’s a bit more tough to tell.
The KPI Rankings are meant to rank team resumes on a game-by-game basis. As analytics are used more and more in sports at all levels, those same principles can be applied to scheduling and how we evaluate games played. As leagues grow through expansion and strength of schedule grows in importance, the ability to compare two teams who many not play becomes more difficult. Rather than listen to people talk about which games are a team’s “good wins,” “bad losses,” etc., I prove or disprove it with numbers. Its uses are endless – television, marketing, scheduling – all things that have become increasingly important in today’s world of athletics. That the rankings can be broken down into very specific, comparative scenarios makes them all that more relevant and exact.
KPI Sports has come to grow into more than just a 50 MB Excel file with literally millions of cells of data. It includes my own musings on the KPI Blog, data analysis, a master television schedule with related data incorporated, and several algorithms still beginning to grow.
I’m originally from the western suburbs of Chicago, Ill. and frankly have enjoyed numbers and sports (and seeing things through analytics) for a long, long time. In my grade school years I would create charts of the Major League Baseball schedule not because I needed to know who played when, but because I wanted to crack the code and patterns as to how it was developed. I built schedules for multiple divisions in the Clarendon Hills Little League while I was in high school, and learned a great deal about both business and dealing with people (while also coaching a team!). Numbers aren’t an absolute when it comes to decision-making, but they can be an incredibly valuable asset in helping influence how decisions are reached.
Thanks for checking out KPI Sports. Come back soon, and come back often. I hope it’s worth your time!