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Team Performance

Course Information: Introduction to Football Analytics

By: Stats Perform

Last week we announced that we will be continuing to collaborate with Birkbeck University to deliver a football analytics module, which will outline the key fundamentals behind data concepts being applied within elite club environments.

In addition to students already enrolled on Birkbeck’s Sport Management and Business of Football MSc, the module can also be completed as a short course by practitioners currently engaged in professional sport. The module will start on 27th April and run for eleven weeks through to 6th July.

Each lecture will be delivered online and provide an in-depth overview of applied football analytics, providing a wide foundation that encapsulates both theoretical frameworks and real-world applications.

Find out more and how to apply HERE

The principles taught throughout the module have been designed with the student at the centre, with sessions tailored on understanding and applying new skills that can be utilised across a range of roles within professional football.

The module aims to ensure the student leaves with a greater understanding of how data and analytical processes can be used within a professional football club across recruitment, performance analysis and at a wider strategic level.

Alongside insight from Stats Perform staff, the module also includes guest sessions from industry experts possessing considerable industry experience working within clubs and in data application across sports journalism.

Outline of the module

Week 1

Lecture: An Introduction to Data Analytics in Football

This session introduces applied football analytics and its position within the wider context of this industry, sharing insight on the evolution of football analytics, and the various touchpoints in which it can be applied.

Week 2

Lecture: An introduction to different technologies for facilitating data analysis

This session introduces the tools that are used within football analytics, focusing on their applications and key uses.

Week 3

Lecture: Introduction to statistical models and their application in football

This lecture will be delivered by Tom Worville from The Athletic. It introduces a catalogue of different models and metrics, illustrating how they can be best applied within professional football.

Week 4

Lecture: The importance of data visualisation

Delivered by John Burn-Murdoch, senior data-visualisation journalist at the Financial Times, this session aims to demonstrate the importance of the visual impact of data and its influence on communicating a message.

Week 5

Lecture: Using data in an applied setting

This session demonstrates how the theoretical concepts showcased in previous sessions are applied in real-world scenarios within professional football. It will be led by Alex Kleyn, Southampton FC’s Lead Data Scientist.

Week 6

Lecture: Collecting, databasing and analysing subjective data and the relationship with more objective data

This session discusses the advantages and disadvantages of subjective and qualitative data.

Week 7

Lecture: Managing conversations and negotiating with decision makers

This lecture demonstrates how data and analytics can support presentations, discussions and decision-making at senior management level.

Week 8

Lecture: The application of data and analytics in strategic planning

This session showcases how different analysis can lead to different conclusions, and the wider impact this can have across an entire football club.

Following the lecture, students will be given a group task to complete prior to the next session.

Week 9

Final Lecture: Group presentation

Through applying the knowledge attained during the first eight lectures, each group will be required to present their task findings for wider discussion.

Following a revision week, the course will conclude with a final examination on Tuesday 6th July.

Full application details for the course can be found here.