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NEWS: 2017 OptaPro Analytics Forum accepting proposals

We are now accepting proposals for the fourth OptaPro Analytics Forum.

The invite-only OptaPro Forum connects professional football clubs from around the globe with some of the most innovative analytical minds operating outside of clubs. The 2016 event attracted some 200 delegates, including representatives from 40 clubs, leagues and federations such as Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, New England Revolution, the Premier League and Major League Soccer.

Watch presentations and interviews from previous OptaPro Analytics Forums

The Forum comprises presentations and interactive posters that apply data to answer some of the key questions posed by club analysts and recruitment staff.

The event remains a unique opportunity for both football clubs and amateur analysts, offering a place to share and discuss new ideas, best practice and analytical frameworks that can be implemented within a football club’s existing set-up and also help shape the future of public analytics.

By connecting amateur analysts with practitioners, the 2017 Forum offers another opportunity to realign the scope and direction of public work and can help analysts continue to influence the game as well as explain it.

The 2017 Forum

The event remains a unique opportunity to work with detailed Opta data. To continue bridging the gap between professional practitioners and amateur analysts, we’ll be introducing something new for 2017. For the first time, we will connect Forum presenters with club analysts as pre-event mentors.

In these one-to-one discussions, analysts will provide detailed feedback and guidance to help ensure presentations are tailored for a football audience.

Although the event itself is invite-only, anybody can submit a proposal to present at the OptaPro Analytics Forum.

All proposals are anonymously judged by an expert panel who have been chosen due to their experience, knowledge and expertise in football analytics.

The judges

- Dr Ian Graham, Head of Research, Liverpool FC

- Sam Green, Head of Research, Aston Villa FC

- Devin Pleuler, Analytics Manager, Toronto FC

- Johannes Harkins, Advanced Analyst, OptaPro

- Rory Campbell, Technical Scout & Analyst, West Ham United


The OptaPro Analytics Forum will continue to encourage proposals from people with a range of professional backgrounds. In recent years, presenter backgrounds have included academia, marketing and data science as well as students (three presenters in 2016 were students at the time of the event).

The recent #HackMCFC event reinforced how diverse skillsets and a fresh perspective can be valuable assets in approaching football questions with data, and this will continue at the 2017 Forum.

How to submit a proposal

There will be two submission categories for the 2017 event. As with previous events, we want the Forum to be data neutral; if you do not require Opta data for your analysis, please specify this in your proposal.

We are delighted that once again, official Premier League tracking data is being made available for certain proposals. If your analysis requires tracking data, please state this clearly.

- Open call: Opta data/another data source

- Open call: Opta data plus official Premier League tracking data

Read: former OptaPro Forum judge Chris Anderson shares his tips on submitting a proposal

Application details

In submitting a proposal, you will need to provide the following information. Proposals should be a maximum of two A4 sides and sent in a Word file.    

1. Title
2. I have/have not worked with Opta’s XML data before (select as appropriate)
3. Proposed area of study
4. Proposed method
5. Name(s) & contact information (including location)

All proposals should be submitted to ‘pro@optasports.com’ using the subject: Analytics Forum 2017 proposal.

Participants can submit more than one proposal.

The deadline for submissions is midnight Sunday 9th October.

If you have any further questions regarding the OptaPro Analytics Forum, please contact: pro@optasports.com

Posted by Ryan Bahia at 00:00


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