Big data revolution in football


When Argentina’s Lionel Messi hits a goal or when a similar footballer is tackling a ball, not only are they falling prey to the cameras but to the booming technology itself in the form of smart devices.

As we take pride in welcoming scientific machinery in every aspect, it is true that intelligent sensors and gadgets have penetrated the sports arena too. The entry of smart devices like heart rate sensors, accelerometers to monitor football matches have ensured the precise monitoring of the player’s moves.

Big data has joined hands with the latest technologies and has been providing a completely different experience for viewing sports. It has changed the face of the game by offering minute details and a wealth of data that wasn’t accessible a few years back. Big data has set its foot in every space and leading organizations are encouraging their workforce to get certified in big data.

With online big data courses for beginners and experienced in the foray, the interests and salaries of big data champs have gone high.

Several professionals are taking the big data route and getting skilled for a successful career. If you are one looking for opportunities in big data, click here.

Let us take a look at how big data has been powering the sports industry:

Match statistics

Across the globe, there are several sports clubs, media outlets and fan forums who connect to share match data which is usually fragments of advanced statistical information. These include the outcome of previous matches, players performance details and so on. Such volumes of data are greatly helpful to improve the players performance for future matches and develop strategies to take over the opponent teams. These data are also useful to track star player’s performance. While fans and sports club look into the technical aspects of the data , the media outlets loves projecting it too by adding value to their reports and coverage.

Smart monitors

The 2014 FIFA world cup saw the usage of smart monitors by the German team. Known to be technologically ahead, the Germans had invested the right set of gadgets in their game to analyze and do better in their playing. It was revealed that the national squad had worn the Adidas miCoach elite team system during their training before and while playing for the matches. This intelligent monitor collects and transmits all the relevant information while connected to the athlete’s bodies. This includes important metrics like the distance, acceleration, speed , power and corresponding heart rate. This vital data is then transmitted live on an iPad to the trainers and coaches. The information helps in a deep analysis of the player during and after the sessions. The data also helped to look for players who were fit enough to play for the matches and the ones who required rest.


The usage of GNSS data – Global Navigation Satellite System has also been implemented by several sports scientists and coaches to track and measure the movement of the players. Vital information received from these monitors help in monitoring the movement of the players to assess if they are fit or fatigued. These tracking devices coordinate with  the GNSS satellites to produce key information.

The devices have their own positioning systems and they are fit locally in a particular area. ClearSky is one device which can be rooted around the indoor premises o the stadium. The device utilizes anchor nodes to monitor the movements of the players and the transmitter devices are worn on top of the back. This is usually held firm by compression clothing that can be worn along with the uniform.

Similar to this is the GPSport which is again a wearable tracking device. All these devices come under the Electronics Performance and Tracking System (EPTS) category. These devices have gained entry to be worn even during matches after a memorandum was issued by FIFA, the International Governing Body of Football. The committee approved the usage of wearable electronic tracking and performance systems in matches on the condition that they do not harm the safety and security of the players. It was also assured that the information would not be readily available to the coaches during the matches. It has also been noted that the final decision to use these wearable gadgets and devices rests upon the individual league or association.

Sports analytics – A spectacular rise

The skill of crunching huge volumes of sports data is also on the rise. FIFA has collaborated with a technology company Infostrada which offers live match streaming and coverage options. They also calculate the Word ranking of the women’s national teams which are part of the FIFA competitions.

ChyronHego is another player in the sports analytics market which has its player –tracking software called the TRACAB. This implements advanced patented image processing technology to look for the location and speed of all the objects in movement within the football stadium. The system has the capacity to accurately generate the X, Y, Z coordinates for every object that can be viewed. This happens 25 times per second and records the players, ball and the referees in the stadium. The data obtained is highly valuable as it enables coaches to assess the performance of the players and track vital quantitative data like the distance that has been covered, stamina, speed, team formations and several key insights.

Fantasy football in the lead

Operators of fantasy football associate with sports data companies and use do a small statistical research from 5-20 to sum up a particular game.  Oulala games  from Malta is a company that provides advanced scoring system using a mathematical matrix. This creates an efficient scoring system and using sophisticated algorithms, player’s performances are tracked and this in turn contributes the final result. Apart from this advanced software called as scripting is also used that helps the coaches to decide on the number of players to be picked.

Therefore big data has become an integral part of the current trend of football matches. The implementation of analytics through algorithms and smart software has given a completely new dimension to the sport adding more intellect to the face of the game. The football big data revolution is offering a unique and enriching experience to the players and viewers and the future holds a lot of promise and advancements with the way the game is looked.

Not just this, the job opportunities for skilled and certified big data analysts are on the rise. Football clubs are hiring analysts to provide them vital information about the players. If you are interested to take on such exciting job roles and want to get yourself skilled, click here to know more. As a professional if you want to boost your career portfolio with a certification the big data analytics training program would be a great choice .



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Vidya is a content ideator, writer, social media enthusiast. She has an eclectic mix of articles in her portfolio ranging from technology, education and travel to name a few. Reading, baking, traveling , teaching kids and learning classical music is what she loves to do in her free time.

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