During the last couple of years I have published 59 (this is the 60th) blog posts. This is about 2.5 posts every month. That’s a lot!! But I am not sure it is a good thing – mainly for the readers. How detailed and deep can you go when you spend 10-15 days on a problem (of course you might be thinking about it more than that but still there are only 24 hours in a day and unless you are professional blogger you have to do other stuff too to pay the bills)? Most of the times these type of posts are preliminary analysis that showcase something, usually at the shallowest level possible. The expectation is to go back later and further work on this but we all know how this works out in the majority of the cases. OK we get it but what is wrong with this? Everything is wrong with it, literally. People – not trained in analytics, or even if they are – will read these posts and think that this minimal analysis has proven something, when in reality the only thing it has proven is that a hypothesis deserving more time for examination and further research might be plausible and worth looking into. Then they will go on doing their own analysis in the same way…and passionately support their conclusions. Unfortunately I have seen this in both the areas I am working on (sports analytics and urban analytics) and it is very troubling. One average, one median or one t-test (for those still using those — this is another discussion) does not prove anything. It is understandable that people want to show that they are doing things on their own, that they have the skillset and they want to show that they produce a lot. But sometimes (actually all of the times) producing something complete is better than producing 1000 incomplete things. Especially in the growing area of sports analytics several blogging-type websites with analysis have appeared and they feel the pressure to put out content to compete with the “big boys”. Again this is understandable but does not mean it is the best thing to do. Patience is a virtue!
Therefore, from now on I will not be blogging! Or let me say it better, I will only be blogging actual research that I have performed and is completed and peer-reviewed in a more compact way. People that will be interested they can then read the actual research paper. Similar to this post or this post or this post or this post. I will also be posting blogs that explain an analytical technique (using sports data), like this post or this one. (or of course my predictions/opinions). But what I will not be doing is presenting “new research”. I really think that blogging has turned the corner and has actually negative returns for people creating them and reading them, and I can see this from my students! Today there are peer-reviewed journal that will accept and publish applied research too. So you can publish there (the review process will help your analysis too). So I will make a plea to all (sports) bloggers out there: blog responsibly!