Wes Patterson: Analytics’ ‘Silicon Valley’

March 26, 2013 

Analytics’ ‘Silicon Valley’

Coach Brad Stevens is to be commended on his insightful leveraging of the immerging field of analytics to improve his management of Butler’s basketball team (“Butler’s secret weapon: statistics” March 21). Even more commendable was his presenting the opportunity to young Drew Cannon to pursue his passion in statistics.

The advantages of data-assisted management are becoming increasingly recognized. Just this week there have been articles on SAS prediction of NCAA outcomes and IBM’s purchase of Star Analytics.

The Triangle is blessed with having world-class analytics programs in its lead institutions: N.C. State, UNC and Duke. Most notable is the master’s program in analytics at N.C. State – the nation’s first in 2007. With SAS as a commercial anchor, the Triangle has the potential of becoming the analytics’ “Silicon Valley.”

Our legislature may be missing a huge opportunity to capitalize on this resource to improve the quality of its decisions. Perhaps by engaging our academic resources our representatives can: assist our young analytics scholars with meaningful projects, accelerate the immergence of the Triangle as the analytics’ “Silicon Valley” and greatly improve the quality of their legislative actions. And this could be at no cost to the state.

Wes Patterson


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