“The more you give, the more you get, that’s being alive” – The Money Song, Avenue Q
Charitable giving serves a valuable purpose in our society. It allows organizations in health, education, social services and others to provide benefits to people who otherwise couldn’t afford them. It allows people who have built up wealth to give back and make a difference. The federal government even subsidizes charitable giving by allowing donations to be deducted from income reported for taxes (effectively kicking in up to 39.6% of each donation). It’s a great system that is meant to fund those people and organizations in need. At least that is how it should be. Continue reading →
The NBA basketball season just started last week, and the three point shot is having its moment. Despite some high profile doubters, the Warriors are the reigning NBA champions due to very impressive three point shooting. Also, the total number of three pointers taken in the NBA has steadily risen over the past 35 years.
Is it better to take a three pointer or a two pointer? The theory behind this is pretty simple, and can be done without a spreadsheet. Because a three pointer is worth 50% more than a two pointer, if a team can hit three pointers with at least 2/3 the percentage that they hit two pointers, then they would be better off taking more three pointers. Continue reading →
Last year, we demonstrated how someone can make a fantasy football draft spreadsheet to help make the best decision in each round of a traditional snake draft. While most leagues use snake draft, eventually you might be faced with a league where someone suggests an auction draft. They might cite something like this articleto make their case. At first you might feel intimidated, but once you remember that every auction round is just a data driven decision, and that spreadsheets are great at solving data driven decisions, you can build something to give yourself the best chance to succeed! Continue reading →
Back when I was in 11th grade, I was one of the benchwarmers on the high school baseball team. Aside from needing to be ready to go in for pinch running duties, we also got assigned various tasks like statkeeper, 1st base coach, foul ball retriever and batboy (that one was the worst). Everyone left over got assigned the vague job of sign-stealing. Usually our attempts to steal signs were futile – between the wide array of touches, wipes and tugs, there was just too much going on to really keep track. But what if there were some way of using spreadsheets to enhance our sign-stealing efforts?
The Lakers are off to a rough start this year – through 9 games they are 1-8, good enough for last place in the Western Conference. In this spreadsheet problem solving example, we’ll use spreadsheets to answer a pertinent question – if the legendary Kobe Bryant played like an average shooting guard, how would the Lakers have fared this year? Continue reading →
“It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future” – Various
Usually, improvement in prediction-making comes in two steps. Step 1: Make a Prediction. Step 2: Evaluate how accurate the prediction was, and learn from it. Often times, Step 2 can get overlooked as we move on to future predictions and future weeks of fantasy football. Spreadsheets can help us quickly evaluate how our predictions were, and quickly point out where we might have erred.
In many parts of life, having a combination of two things can lead to better outcomes. Having stocks and bonds means sometimes the stocks do well while at other times the bonds do well, resulting in better overall portfolio performance. Also, the driver of this truck pictured below probably has at least one of his teams doing well.
It’s that time of the year when Little League World Series coverage heats up on ESPN, and viewers get to see a miniaturized version of baseball played at the highest level. This year has been especially impressive with a super-team from Las Vegas that rarely makes errors, the Chicago team that beat them, and of course the sensational female pitcher Mo’ne Davis, who throws as hard as some high school pitchers. Every Little Leaguer dreams of making it to the big leagues, someday making a career of playing the game they love. But how hard is it to get there? This is a question that we will try to solve this week with the help of a spreadsheet.
Fantasy Football Season is here! It’s that time of the year where we sit down on the couch every Sunday to cheer for our group of superstar mercenaries as they help our team embarrass (avoid embarrassment?) those of our friends. Fantasy Football drafts are coming up and this post will hopefully help you with your draft, and of course continue to help you learn how to use spreadsheets. Continue reading →
Spreadsheets are at their best when they are helping us solve useful problems. And what could be more useful than getting better at basketball? Perhaps this spreadsheet could help you dominate avoid getting kicked out of your local pickup game..