StatsBomb: Advanced Football Analytics Through An Interactive Visualisation Platform

STATSBOMB is a UK-based football analytics and data visualisation company introducing common data analytics practices seen in business and tech to the world of football analytics. Through their recently launched (February 2019) STATSBOMB IQ data visualisation platform they offer immediate accessibility to valuable football insights from all major leagues and players across the globe.

The company was founded in January 2017, after self-described data geek Ted Knutson - now CEO and co-founder of STATSBOMB - traded a decade in the sports betting industry to partner with Charlotte Randall - Chief Operating Officer - and “produce the best possible analytic toolset for football clubs to use in player recruitment, team analysis, and opposition scouting”. What started as a blog sharing ideas about applied statistics in football turned into a reputable business collecting vast amounts of football data and offering an interactive visualisation platform enabling them to establish a global customer based including major clubs, federations, media, broadcasters and gambling organisations. In their ambition to establish themselves as an industry leader, STATSBOMB has recently acquired Egypt-based sports data collection company ArqamFC, gathering over 5,000 data points per match. Ted Knutson claimed that this move will allow them to offer double the amount of data points than any other provider.

STATSBOMB’s new data visualisation platform STATSBOMB IQ is the latest pioneering move by the company. Their dashboards, charts and graphs follow a similar aesthetic, clarity and data blending to those displayed by Tableau, possibly the largest data visualisation package in tech. While most, if not all, charts come already built out-of-the-box, their interactivity and filtering tools allow for sufficient customization to answer a wide range of analytical questions.

Salah’s 2018/19 STATSBOMB Profile

Salah’s 2018/19 STATSBOMB Profile

Messi’s 2018/19 STATSBOMB Profile

Messi’s 2018/19 STATSBOMB Profile

The platform has an outstanding processing performance when switching between the various sections and quickly display vast amounts of data on the screen. From player radars to shot maps, shot distributions, defensive activity, xG trendlines, corner maps and even player comparison showing similarities or complementary skill sets, STATSBOMB IQ is a reliable and robust tool offering immediate access to a complete picture of the latest football data within the click of a button.

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The company also offers consultancy services to ease users into their data tools and provide them with the right assets to navigate their platform. This assistance when interpreting their large dataset - they collect more than twice the events per match than their competitors - is key in order to make their service digestible. However, the easy navigation through the clearly defined themes makes this task quick to grasp. Some of these themes include:

  • Pressure: analysing how players and teams press and how they perform under pressure

  • Shooting: including the location of attacking and defending players to provide both attacking and shot defending insights.

  • Goalkeeping: detailed actions down to goalkeeper positioning and movements that can be tied to the insights of gathered from the quality of the shot.

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While the company does not intend to replace videoanalysis, it does emphase on the compatibility of their data visualisation features to reduce the time spent by analysts and coached reviewing player and team footage during performance evaluations. By spotting the right patterns and trends in the data, a more focused approach to videoanalysis can be adopted that will narrow down the areas to further investigate. One thing is certain, their stunning data visualisations bring a refreshing approach to football analytics providing invaluable insights and introducing tools to the field of applied sports analytics that are closer aligned to today’s available technologies.

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