Sports Statistician – Karl Jackson

I’m the head statistician at a company that collects statistics from AFL matches. At the end of a game I get a file that contains everything that happened during the game event by event. My job is to splice and dice all of this data, using statistical tools, to give the clubs something from all of that information that is meaningful and that might give them an advantage in the next game. An example is looking at centre square involvements – clubs want to know what the best possible combination of four players at the centre bounce is.

Maths teaches people how to solve problems not just memorise formulas. Even degrees that really have nothing to do with maths need some level of statistical knowledge. I’d strongly advise everyone at school to stick with maths, having that extra knowledge will definitely be very useful.

Doing a degree in statistics, you can work in absolutely anything from finance to business, medicine and obviously sport. Sports statistics is growing very quickly. Working as a sports statistician is a perfect fit for me. Growing up playing sport as a kid every weekend and being mathematically minded – it really is a perfect match.

The Maths: Make your career count series was produced by AMSI and funded by the Australian Government under The Improving Mathematics in Schools (TIMES) project. Visit the Maths: Make your career count website at http://mathscareers.org.au/

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