Coach Perry's Think Tank: Data Science and Applied Analytics students
Elena Grigelevich ’18, who attends every Bryant football game, sometimes seems clairvoyant.
“I can look at our opponent and just know they’re going to run the ball,” she says. “And they do.”
“Analytics ... is a way we can gain an edge in how we make decisions and help us win.”
But Grigelevich isn’t psychic. A double-major in Finance and Applied Analytics, she is member of Head Football Coach James Perry’s Think Tank — a group of Bryant Data Science and Applied Analytics students who conduct hours of research in search of team tendencies.
“I look at the game film of our upcoming opponents and I chart plays by down, quarter, hash, and more to try to figure out what they are most likely to do in a certain situation,” says Grigelevich, who is from North Scituate, RI.
“Analytics has become a huge part of football around the nation,” Perry (above, at 2017 Research and Engagement Day presentation) says. “It’s a way we can gain an edge in how we make decisions and help us win.”
The Think Tank is just the start of what Richard Glass, Ph.D., Professor of Information Systems and Analytics, describes as instilling a “culture of analytics” into Bryant athletics.
“Everyone benefits from this,” Glass says. “The students learn about analytics. Faculty have new projects for students to work on, and Athletics benefits by increasing performance and receiving more data.”
“Ultimately we want to be able to work with sensory data.”
Glass imagines that students will be analyzing more than just tendencies in the future.
“Ultimately we want to be able to work with sensory data,” he says. “We want to measure athletes’ bodily functions such as heart rate and blood pressure, which would allow us to come up with measures of fatigue.”
Grigelevich’s Think Tank work merges her two loves: numbers and football. She hopes to earn Bryant’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics after she graduates, which will allow her to remain with the football team in 2018. Then she has bigger plans.
“I want to work for an NFL team, and Coach Perry said he would do anything possible to get me a job in the NFL.”