The Data Analyst was introduced to Football Manager in 2017 and the staff role has become more important in the later versions. Nowadays the Data Analyst is one of the key members of the scouting staff and he will be aiding the scouting team based on statistics. In this guide we will be explaining more about this role and what he has to offer.
While the Data Analyst (DA from now on) is a member of the scouting team, he has his own set of attributes. These and their descriptions according to Football Manager are:
Judging Player Data
The ability of a DA to understand data concerning an individual player and interpret it in a manner useful to the manager.
Judging Team Data
The ability of a DA to understand data concerning a team and interpret it in a manner useful to the manager.
The ability of a DA to present their data in an efficient and easily digestible manner to the manager and the players.
To sum up it is basically the higher the attributes, the better and more complete reports you will receive. However, the last attribute is described in a pretty weird way. This does not mean you will receive a scribble or a report written in Latin if your DA has a lower rating. It means that the analysis he will give you is incomplete.
The lower the rating, the less information a DA will give you when presenting an analysis and the more time he needs to complete a full analysis
Facilities are important!
As always, looking for staff members with 20,20,20 ratings on their key attributes is essential. But, in the case of the DA you should also have a look at the Data Analyst Facilities at your club (find these at Club > Facilities). The level of your facilities have a direct effect on a DA’s report.
See it like this: if he is asked to make a report with a Commodore 64 and a flip-over, the report will not be that good. If he is able to create a report with the state-of-the-art technologies he will be able to analyse a lot more (useful) information.
Data Analyst’s Tasks
In Football Manager it is possible to give a Data Analyst various tasks. You can ask him to make an analysis of an individual player who you want to sign but his main task will be analysing your opponents and your team’s performances during the season. We discuss both.
If you want to sign a player you will send over a scout to have a look. The scout will then make a report which you can find in the ‘Reports’ section of a player profile. To create a more in-depth report card, you can also ask a DA to make an analysis. He will then analyse the player’s performances and will give you a nice set of statistics to have a look at. These statistics could help you decided whether to sign or not to sign a certain player and those stats could be very handy to find out stuff a scout will not report on.
For example; you are looking for a new attacking minded full-back who can deliver a good cross onto your tall striker. You have found a player you might be interested in and ask a scout to make a report. The scout makes a positive report and advises you to sign the player. However, the analysis the report the Data Analyst creates shows that the player has a 2% cross completion rate over the course of the season, that he makes a lot of mistakes passing a ball and that his tackle rate is very low…. Not so interesting anymore, right?
While a Data Analyst could help you discover a more in-depth look in a scout report, his main tasks will be analysing your own team and your opponents. He will be doing so in a Pre-Match and Post-Match analysis.
We will be discussing both in this section.
One of the assignments you can give a Data Analyst is an ongoing analysis of your next opponent. This is a different report than a scout report, which reveals the strengths and weaknesses. The analysis will be more statistical and will show you things like a positional heat map, a recent match analysis, an analysis of the goals they have scored or conceded and a formation analysis.
If you have instructed the Analysis team to create ongoing Pre-Match reports, they will automatically make a Post-Match Analysis after each game you play. This report is similar to the Pre-Match Analysis, but this time the analysis shows the performance of your own team instead of your opponent’s.
The report you receive in your inbox has a lot of useful information and is shown in four different tabs which you can click through. We will discuss them all:
The standard tab you will see if the Match Summary. Here you see an overview of the match you have just completed and it also shows your formation including the player’s match ratings, substitutions and basic match stats (possession and shots on target).
Focus of Attacks
In this tab you will see a Positional Heat Map of your team during the game. This allows you to see the focus of your attacks and if your team has followed their team and player instructions.
In the screen below you will see that Manchester City had been playing mostly down the right (47%) and left side (36%) of the pitch. This seems logical as the team has attacking full-backs and wingers in a 4-4-2 formation, while the team was instructed to exploit the flanks.
Highest Pass Combination
Here you will see more information on your team’s passing, with the most passing combinations (passing network) in the middle of the screen. This will give you a good inside look at the length of the passes and the direction of the passes.
It is interesting to follow this information over a couple of games to see if your players are able to follow your instructions. In the in-dept analysis of the match you will find more details on your team’s passing.
Key Passes / Mistakes
Finally you have the Key Passes / Mistakes tab. Here you will see a basic overview of your worst and best performer in the passing area. In this particular case Riyad Mahrez is both our key performer and the player with the most mistakes. The right winger had an assist on Sergio Agüero after 2 minutes and created two big chances further down the game, which unfortunately did not result in more goals.
Also; be a bit careful with interpreting the ‘most mistakes’ stat. It seems as if Mahrez has lost possession 3 times and created a danger for his team. After we took a closer look at the 3 mistakes; 2 of those were a wrong pass into an Arsenal player, who then put the ball out of play for a Manchester City throw-in. He did make some mistakes, but did they affect is his total team performance?
So: before you make any decisions, be sure to take a closer look at the mistakes as they are often small ones…
After reading this guide you will know what the basic job of a Data Analyst is, which attributes you need to look at and which tasks he can provide for your club. Obviously a Data Analyst can give you a lot more data on your matches and the performances of your players. In the future we will be taking a look at the Analysis mode more closely and will show you all the basics on using statistics in Football Manager.