Keeping his eye on the ball and the stats
Television sportscaster Edward Egros knows how to get the big picture. For an overview of AT&T Stadium, home of football’s Dallas Cowboys, Egros hopped a ride on a Goodyear Blimp. The result was an engaging piece of reporting, packed with statistics and yet lighter than air.
Egros, a sports reporter and anchor for KDFW–TV FOX 4 in Dallas, credits Northwestern’s online MS in Predictive Analytics program for helping him present big data in ways viewers can understand. “Sports reporting is dense with statistics,” says Egros, who completed his master’s degree in 2015. “Northwestern has helped me present difficult concepts so that viewers aren’t put off by the math.” Egros cites a class in data visualization with predictive analytics faculty director Thomas Miller as being immediately applicable: “He showed us how to make statistics visually appealing. In broadcasting, the need to communicate data is critical.”
The predictive analytics program is not specific to sports, but Egros drew on his professional experience in class discussions and wrote a thesis about the use of analytics in sports journalism. The program also helped Egros build on the quantitative skills he developed as an undergraduate at Southern Methodist University, where he minored in math and earned dual degrees in journalism and economics.
“SPS’s program helped put my interests together,” says Egros. “Both journalism and predictive analytics are evolving and undergoing big changes right now. If you’re involved in one or both, you have to be a perpetual student.”
Much of Egros’s airtime is devoted to the Cowboys, with Friday nights reserved for high school football, hugely popular in Texas. But baseball is what truly inspires Egros. “It’s a sport without a clock. The drama builds at the bottom of the ninth with the crowd on the edge of their seats. The game appeases both sides of me equally — the storytelling journalist and the quantitative data scientist.”