Data can offer a useful "first cut" for narrowing down the player pool in recruiting. Recruiting is a complex process that yields the best results when traditional scouting and analytics work together. Successful clubs can choose from thousands of players around the world, but scouts and coaches may not have time to watch all of them in action. Data-based player ratings can reduce the pool to a manageable number for more comprehensive assessments of each player.
NYA has created several proprietary systems for rating players using data from Opta and other providers. The ratings account for offensive and defensive actions that contribute to game outcomes and aspects of playing styles. We have ratings that assess many different aspects of players' abilities, from creating shots and advancing the ball into dangerous areas to possession retention and intangible X-factors. Some of them are described here.
Opta data have some drawbacks but also an important upside. They are collected by hand, so there is room for human error. They also cover action primarily on the ball, leaving out the positions and movements of other players. However, Opta collects data in the same way for leagues around the world. As a result, an algorithm developed for one league can be used to evaluate players on the same basis anywhere else.
The player ratings are consistent and have low error rates when used to identify young prospects. The correlations for ratings of the same player over time strong at every outfield position, suggesting that the ratings do indeed measure innate quality.
NYA maintains databases on thousands of players for clients. Please get in touch to find out more about NYA's player evaluation and recruiting tools.