FanPost

Opta and MCFC Release Data, Dark Ages Start To End; Statheads Rejoice

One of the problems with doing any sort of advanced statistical analysis of soccer is that the data that clubs use is proprietary; those of us on the outside have to either invent our own or deal with the bare bones that is freely available.

As much as I dislike Manchester City, they have done something remarkable. They've convinced Opta to release an entire season's worth of all the data they compile and provide it (for free!) to anyone that wants it. It comes in two flavors: Lite, which is data for every on-the-ball event for every player in the Premier League last season, or Advanced, which is much more in-depth - it's MCFC player data from last season only, but everything is time-coded and contains X/Y/Z data for each event - and requires "certain programming ability" (I haven't seen the data set yet, but that presumably means a working knowledge of Access or another database tool) to manipulate. Much more can be done with this data than you could with the Lite data set if you've got the skills to play with it.

The caveat with all this stuff is that Opta still owns an "irrevocable license" to the data - you can't develop a commercial product with it, and Opta has rights to use anything you do produce - but MCFC is hoping this will kickstart a sabermetrics-type movement in soccer, and I think that's a long-overdue, great thing.

So if you're a stiatistically inclined person, go grab the data and start playing with it. I will be curious to see what comes out of this effort.

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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