Fledgling data science: A study of the freelance football analytics community

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


In this paper, we present findings from a study of the freelance football analytics community. Bloggers, analytics football writers or ‘public analysts’, they are fresh graduates in computer science, mathematics or physics. Their work is found mostly in the blogosphere or on Twitter, where they attract the interest of thousands of followers. The football analytics community presents an interesting paradox. Despite data scientists being considered a scarce resource in other industries, in football there seems to be an abundance of underpaid if not casual data science workers. Our study of the football analytics community thus becomes a reflection on data science. What do freelance football analysts do? Can it be called data science? We approach the question by trying to define the confines of the practice, by also looking at the interaction with other neighbouring communities of tactical analysts and professional coach! es. Our data consists in interviews and observations at special events such as analytic conferences and hackathons, where these various form of expertise are made visible in their interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Fledgling data science: A study of the freelance football analytics community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this