Elena Grigelevich ’18, who attended every Bryant football game, sometimes seemed 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 was a member of Head Football Coach James Perry’sThink 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.
“Analytics has become a huge part of football around the nation,” Perry says. “It’s a way we can gain an edge in how we make decisions and help us win.”
"Programs like Think Tank help students like me blossom and figure out what we want to do and how to make it work."
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.”
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 recently accepted a post-graduate coaching analytics internship with the Baltimore Ravens, and believes the fact that she already worked in her field as a college student helped her earn her position.
"Everyone talks about how you need experience to get a job, but very few people are getting the type of experience that I did," she says. "Bryant is one of only a few schools that has a program like this. That's really important because programs like Think Tank help students like me blossom and figure out what we want to do and how to make it work."