Featured Expert: Simon Gerszberg

Player location data in basketball and other team sports has become a very powerful predictive component the last few years through the use of advanced machine learning algorithms. Is there a hierarchy of additional data sets such as player possession, that are ranked in helping these algorithms become even more accurate?

Simon Gerszberg: Player tracking data in every sport represents the next frontier for evaluating team and player skill. All sports began in the era of box scores and counting stats but have now evolved into the player tracking era. College basketball seems to be among the last major sport to have this data which is why it became our goal to pioneer these. The goal of sports statistics, in general, is to quantify team and player performance. However, the issue with box score level metrics is that they offer only surface-level analysis. Points, rebounds, and assists are undoubtedly important, but the average coach and analyst seek information at a more granular level. For example: how player X contributed to help defense on a specific possession or how player Y contested a 3-point shot – these are some of the types of metrics that provide lots of value to fans, coaches and bettors that just wouldn’t be possible without tracking data.

As a business, it seems reasonable that acquiring more basketball coaches as clients is a possible growth area in 2024 and beyond. What other growth targets does ShotQuality have in sight?

Simon Gerszberg: Our aim is to establish our brand in the B2B gaming space as the foremost advanced basketball data company. Although we initially started as a coaching product, that phase of our company’s development proved crucial to creating high-quality contextual data. We would continuously gather feedback from the coaches-the very people who know the players and teams better than anyone- about nuanced adjustments they would suggest with our shot probability algorithm. This feedback loop has significantly improved the quality of our data that we now provide and has put us in an excellent product position to make some noise in the gaming space.

Finally, as a startup founder with many years ahead as a business leader, do you have any personal or professional goals you aspire to achieve?

Simon Gerszberg: With ShotQuality being my first job, I’ve had to wear many different hats. Through this experience, I’ve gained a clear understanding of my strengths, weaknesses, and what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy. Within ShotQuality, I’ve taken on various roles, including product management, data science, sales, marketing, and more. The thing I feel that drives me the most is product. Watching a product evolve from an idea to delivery and seeing customers use it while obsessing over its improvement is what truly motivates me. Whether it’s with ShotQuality or in my future career, I am confident that I will always want to be involved in product development.

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