Aug 27, 2013

Using Big Data in Football (Soccer)

The Lewis's book Moneyball revealed clever application of data-driven analytic in baseball and initiated the so called "Moneyball"-era in this sport. Currently, wide range of teams employ similar methods together with the traditional ones. I have been wondering if similar methods are applied in football and why not much is known about it if they are. I know many performance metrics are tracked by the clubs but I wondered if any data-driven analytics is employed.

The Economist recently published a short interview shedding some light on that - see the interview here. It is not much and some of described facts and issues are questionable to say the least, e.g. the players perceived value coming from fans. Basically, I was bit disappointed not to hear anything new but there are some good points about ranges of applicability of analytical methods in team sports as well as the difficulties coming from the specifics of football. However, I would not be surprised if a book similar to Moneyball reveals some well-kept football secrets and makes a big hit in the years that come.

Soccer analytics is a big thing of course and there are tons of sites, experts and "experts" producing insights and recommendations and some of them are based on data analysis. I did a quick research and I found few links that could give broader view on the topic like How Data Is Changing Soccer, Scoring With Soccer, here or the publications on It is not much and maybe I should dig further into this further when I have more time on my hands. Meanwhile, I would be thankful if somebody could point me an article or a book with more details.

No comments:

Post a Comment