Data analysts were among the several million people watching the return of the English Premier League over the weekend.
However, it wasn’t to support their favourite team or football player, instead the number of tackles and passes completed by players as well as their speed, acceleration, distance and on and on the list goes.
Major statistic providers like Opta, Prozone or Soccermetrics have been analysing and processing real-time data of football matches since the 1990s.
Clubs buy this data in the hope of judging the potential worth of each player and improving their decision-making process. This might be to find out which of their players perform better in defence or the team doctor might use it for a better understanding of a player’s health.
And more are clubs are using it to spot talent, as the Economist reported last week, which said that Chelsea uses data algorithms and software devices to keep track of players in 15 leagues across the world. Liverpool has also hired a data scientist with a PHD in biological physics, while Manchester City has 10 analysts working full-time.
As the data revolution progresses, should football clubs adapt and invest in big data? Is it worth it? Let us know your thoughts.