The countdown to the Super Bowl is on! Let’s take a look at the role of analytics.

2023 Super Bowl flashback! At the time of this recording, we are well into this year’s football playoffs with the Super Bowl now just a couple of weeks away. There are four teams still in the playoffs – Bengals, Chiefs, Eagles and 49ers – with the next round coming this weekend. I invited my previous guest Walt DeGrange, director of Analytics Capabilities at CANA, to take a look at the continually evolving role of analytics in football as we continue our countdown to the Super Bowl. We’ll also take a few minutes to discuss Walt’s new book, Field Guide to Compelling Analytics. *A note to listeners, this episode was recorded on January 26, 2023 and posted the following week.

After the conference championships they’re going to have two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl, however, that seems like a long time but there’s a lot to be done. The other thing is not only do you have to develop the game plan but then you have to communicate that to the players and they also have to practice, right? Some of the plays and such to make sure everybody’s on the same page. So I think just the cycle time of being able to analyze the massive amounts of data now that are out there with all the cameras, and sensors and everything, make heads or tails of it and then be able to translate that into an actionable plan that you can actually practice, and then be able to come out and execute. It’s just amazing the amount of data analytics that goes into that nowadays.

Interviewed this episode:

Walt DeGrange


Walt DeGrange is the Director of Analytics Capabilities for CANA. He recruits, develops, and enables a team of analytics professionals to produce high-level analytics products across federal and commercial domains including operations research studies & analysis, analysis of logistics systems, sports analytics, data and information-based decision support solutions, and data quality & analytic assessments. He is also a faculty member at the University of Arkansas in the Operations Management graduate program, an MBA Executive Advisor at the NC State University Poole School of Management, and the Past Chairperson for the INFORMS SpORts Section. His analytics projects include work with several organizations across the Department of Defense, a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) team, and several commercial organizations. Walt teaches professional analytics courses for both INFORMS and MORS. He also wrote the book Field Guide to Compelling Analytics with Lucia Darrow focusing on how to encourage different audiences to trust and use analytics.

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