Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
December 5-6, 2016: Training
December 6–8, 2016: Tutorials & Conference

Analyzing NFL play-by-play data

Jared Lander (Lander Analytics)
5:05pm–5:45pm Thursday, December 8, 2016
Data science and advanced analytics
Location: Summit 1 Level: Intermediate
Tags: sports
Average rating: ***..
(3.67, 3 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Understand how analytics are used in football
  • Gain new knowledge about statistical modeling, machine learning, visualization, and R


Jared Lander worked with the Minnesota Vikings to bring moneyball to football for the 2015 NFL draft. Join Jared as he dives further into football, using statistical modeling and R to analyze opponent play-calling, examine when the New York Giants will run or pass the ball, and discern quarterback Eli Manning’s favorite receivers.

Jared begins by providing background on his work with the Vikings and discussing the makings of a data scientist and the history and uses of R. Following this, the talk turns to football as Jared walks you through the process of exploratory data analysis, modeling, and conveying results to decision makers, in this case the head coach, through easy-to-understand graphics made in R. Along the way, Jared explains the statistics and machine-learning algorithms—along with the working R code—that make the analysis possible.

Topics include:

  • Football decision making
  • Generalized linear models
  • Decision trees
  • Data visualization
  • Model visualization
  • R
Photo of Jared Lander

Jared Lander

Lander Analytics

Jared P. Lander is chief data scientist of Lander Analytics, where he oversees the long-term direction of the company and researches the best strategy, models, and algorithms for modern data needs. He specializes in data management, multilevel models, machine learning, generalized linear models, data management, visualization, and statistical computing. In addition to his client-facing consulting and training, Jared is an adjunct professor of statistics at Columbia University and the organizer of the New York Open Statistical Programming Meetup and the New York R Conference. He is the author of R for Everyone, a book about R programming geared toward data scientists and nonstatisticians alike. Very active in the data community, Jared is a frequent speaker at conferences, universities, and meetups around the world and was a member of the 2014 Strata New York selection committee. His writings on statistics can be found at He was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his work with the Minnesota Vikings during the 2015 NFL Draft. Jared holds a master’s degree in statistics from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Muhlenberg College.