Big data & Football
By Mike Thacker-Cooke
17th June 2016

Football is one of the most popular and richest sports in the world and therefore it’s no surprise that Big Data is being used to better understand and advance the famous game.

An example of this is where Big Data is being used to help scouts find the best players for their team. Through the Intel technology Scout7 managers and football scouts can track a player’s game statistics, analytics and watch videos of their previous games. Many teams across the world are using this and technologies similar to analyse their transfer decisions before making the final choice.

But not only is data helping teams find the best players it is helping teams to understand their players better. With software like Prozone managers can track a match in real-time and are able to fully analyse it afterwards, in 2014 around 300 clubs worldwide were using this technology to analyse their games.

As well as this, through SAP software and trackers football clubs like TSG Hoffenheim are using this during training sessions to make sure their players are ready for the games. With trackers placed on the pitch, goal posts, the ball and players the software will then suggest where improvements can be made. The head of technology at SAP stated that “if you train for just 10 minutes with 10 players and three balls – it produces more than seven million data points, which we can then process in real time.” This software can also help spot where injuries may occur before a physio can.

If you, like me, followed the run up to the Euro 2016 no doubt you would have seen many predictions about who will win the championship and each individual game. A team of researchers at Yahoo have been using Big Data to see if they can predict the tournament. By using social media posts and their own sporting data from their database they have pulled together their predictions. Yahoo has got Germany down as the winner but can Big Data really get it right? You can see their full list of predictions on their Tumblr post.

With Yahoo’s researchers and big data predicting England’s first 2 games correctly, with a 1-1 draw against Russia and a 2-1 victory against Wales, it seems they are in fact getting it right, for England’s games at least! 

Do you think big data can really predict the Euro 2016 winner? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below

This blog was originally published by Mike on LinkedIn. To view the original post click here


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