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February 5, 2019

StatsBomb Elevates Their Industry-Leading Football Data Spec Yet Again

By Ted Knutson

On May 9th, 2018 StatsBomb announced our new product, StatsBomb Data. Our football data features massive upgrades to the event data world including

  • Location of defenders and goalkeeper on every shot
  • Defensive pressures
  • Passing footedness
  • Pass Height
  • Ball Receptions

And so much more…

On release, StatsBomb Data ended up with 60% more events per match than the competition. Our data is currently collected across 22 leagues and we plan to double the number of leagues we collect over the next 18 months.

On the StatsBomb IQ side, we spent much of the last year unlocking the power of StatsBomb Data inside our analytics platform. Customers now have information about player and team defensive pressures where none existed before. We also released an entire module focused on objective information that helps evaluate Goalkeepers, previously a problematic area of player analysis.

Are you going to buy or sell a goalkeeper this summer? Then you really need to be on StatsBomb IQ.

StatsBomb Data represents a paradigm shift in the football data industry. Having been around this industry since 2013, you almost never see significant upgrades in event data specs, but we packaged a decade worth of innovations into our launch product.

But that was what we did last year…

What have we done for you lately?

Not content to already have the best data in this space, we introduced new upgrades.

Shot Impact Height
You know those crosses that are too high, but the attacker goes for the shot anyway and it glances off the top of his head as it’s vaguely looped toward goal? Those look the same in the data as a standing header with perfect contact.

They won’t look the same with StatsBomb Data. We have added a z-coordinate to the start of shots so you’ll be able to tell at what height the shooter made contact.

By doing this, we get more useful information about each individual chance and another small variable that we think this will improve expected goal model performance.

Those of you out there whose jobs do not involve improving the performance of expected goals models are probably like, “Whatever! This is boooooring.” I feel your pain.

So how about this?

Goalkeeper Ragdolls
Introducing GK position information on shots has paid huge dividends when it comes to evaluating individual GK performance and positioning. However, we looked at what we were collecting and found a way to improve the information provided about goalkeepers in a massive way.

These are officially termed ragdolls because they are based on the dolls you see in ragdoll physics demos, but throughout design and development we have affectionately nicknamed them skellingtons. They capture the GK position at the start of a shot and at the point of a save/potential save in a way no company ever has before.

And we will capture this information on every shot in every league we collect, from the English Premier League all the way down to League Two.

These new upgrades plus a couple of other minor ones rolled out at the same time will give our data set twice as much information per game as our competitors.

There is no extra charge on the new stuff to StatsBomb Data customers. These upgrades to the data spec will start rolling out as part of our normal data delivery in March, and will extend backwards through all of our historic data.

I think it’s been clear from the start that we’re a bit different from the other data companies out there. Our mission is to find innovative new ways to analyse and visualise the game, and provide our customers an edge over the competition.

Watch this space – we’re just getting started.

Ted Knutson
CEO, Co-Founder StatsBomb
ted@statsbomb.com

Article by Ted Knutson