Manchester City Launch Groundbreaking Analytics Initiative

It's not difficult to see why statistical analysis in football has remained in what is essentially the Dark Ages. While there's plenty of interest in advancing the discipline (not to mention plenty of talent available to do it), the data to play with has simply never been available to the public. With the data restricted to teams themselves, who pay plenty of money for the privilege, it's been impossible for the wider community to make the same sorts of breakthroughs that we've seen in other sports.

Manchester City have taken the first tentative steps in removing that bottleneck, confirming that Friday will see the launch of 'MCFC Analytics', which is being described as a game-changing approach to data. And it is -- City are releasing a full year's worth of their Opta database, allowing amateur analysts (or any interested parties) to work their magic on the 2011/12 season. Essentially, they're recreating the sort of data availability that's enabled analytics to flourish elsewhere.

This is a seriously awesome thing to do, and I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth into whatever City are giving away. This database is worth a lot of money, and City should be (and will be) applauded for giving it to the world. You'll be able to download it by signing up by at www.mcfc.co.uk/mcfcanalytics beginning on Friday, so if you fancy yourself as a statistician*, feel free to join the crowdsourced analytics party. It'll be great.

*Or even if you don't -- something I like to emphasise is that mathematical acumen is far less important than rigour of thought when you get into the serious, deep analysis, which is what football needs.

It's important to remember, however, that this doesn't solve all of our problems at once. Data from the 2011/12 season is valuable, but a single year's worth of information isn't enough to create or test predictive statistics, and we'll still suffer from the lack of player positioning information that I've touched on in previous posts. This release will not get us to the promised land.

But that's fine. Football analysis has a long and rocky road to traverse before it reaches maturity, and City have given us a push in the right direction. Whether or not we ever get anywhere is now at least partially up to us. That's the game changer -- instead of just thinking about how stats should be, we've been given free reign to innovate.

Now we just have to make the most of it.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join We Ain't Got No History

You must be a member of We Ain't Got No History to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at We Ain't Got No History. You should read them.

Join We Ain't Got No History

You must be a member of We Ain't Got No History to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at We Ain't Got No History. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker