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OptaPro launches call for proposals for 2020 OptaPro Analytics Forum

By: Stats Perform

OptaPro is delighted to announce that it is now accepting proposals to present at the 2020 OptaPro Analytics Forum, which takes place on Wednesday 5th February in central London.

Heading into its seventh year, the Forum has grown into one of the world’s leading football analytics conferences, attracting over 80 professional teams from around the world including the likes of FC Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, the FA and US Soccer.

300 delegates from across the industry attend the invitation-only event to better understand how analytics can be applied to inform and enhance decision-making from a tactical, recruitment and strategic planning perspective.

2020 OptaPro Analytics Forum: club-led presentation topics

Every year the quality of presentations increases. To maintain this trend and to continue to evolve the Analytics Forum, we’ve gone one step further with submission topics. As well as open categories (covering both event only and event and tracking), two clubs have put forward presentation topics for the 2020 Forum.

Danish Superliga side FC Nordsjælland and Swansea City of the Championship have each put forward a research question that will be a dedicated presentation topic. Only one proposal for each of the club-led topics will be accepted and presented at the Forum, although people are welcome to submit multiple proposals across multiple categories.

Both clubs will work closely with the presenters on the respective topics, using their expertise and detailed knowledge to add a further layer of depth to the presentations.

Those who have a proposal accepted in the open categories will also work closely with a club analyst, who will act as a ‘mentor’ to support with any key questions during the process. Something that was initially introduced a couple of years ago, this is something that we’ve seen have a huge impact on the quality of presentations at the event.

Submissions that cover any of the below will be considered:

– Open submission: event data

– Open submission: event and tracking data

– FC Nordsjælland-led proposal:

Identifying and evaluating strategies to break down a low-block.

This proposal should focus on overarching strategies within this particular scenario, however a focus should be on the tactical approach of FC Nordsjælland. Data from other competitions can be applied to support the analysis. There is the option to include tracking data within this proposal should you wish, although it is not mandatory.

– Swansea City-led proposal:

What playing styles are effective against certain formations or playing styles, with focus on the English Championship?

This proposal should demonstrate how best to approach a game against a 3-4-3 for example, rather than focus on identifying teams with a similar style. Data from other competitions can be applied to support the analysis.


What to include in your proposal

Proposals should focus on answering a specific question, sharing insight on the approach taken and how this research can be applied within the professional environment and crucially, how it can help teams win.

Previous presentations have covered topics such as crediting players for creating space, quantifying league strength, showcasing optimal strategies for crossing from open play and innovative work on body orientation.

Click here to see previous Forum presentations

To further enhance the quality of proposals, those submitting also have the opportunity to access a data sample (event only) to begin and outline their work, meaning a proposal can be more detailed than in previous years.

To access this sample, please email with ‘Analytics Forum 2020 data request’ as the subject. The email body should include a very brief introduction to your idea or proposal.

Proposals should include the below information and be a maximum of two pages and sent in a Word document. Images, videos and external links can be included along with any other relevant information.

– Name
– Address
– Contact information
– Are you submitting on behalf of a commercial organisation (yes/no)
– Submission category
– Title of project
– Research question
– Objective of this research
– Rationale for chosen topic
– Your approach to answering this question
– The applications of this research within a professional football environment and how this work will help teams win

The deadline for submissions is Monday 28th October.

Please submit proposals to with the subject line: Analytics Forum 2020 proposal.

The judging process

Judges will review proposals, which are anonymised, assessing against the following criteria:

Innovation: Is the idea new? Has it been seen or tried before? Has it even been thought about or discussed before?

Relevance: How useful is this research to professional teams? Does it answer the ‘so what?’ question?

Application: How can this research be applied by a club? This may relate to recruitment processes, tactical analysis, player development pathways or additional areas


With an extensive background in football analytics, OptaPro Analytics Forum judges are:

Ian Graham, Director of Research, Liverpool FC

Brian Prestidge, Football Insights Data Scientist, Manchester City

Devin Pleuler, Senior Analytics Manager, Toronto FC

Will Gürpınar-Morgan, Senior Data Scientist, OptaPro (Stats Perform)

Patrick Lucey, VP Artificial Intelligence, Stats Perform


For more information on the OptaPro Analytics Forum, please contact