Manchester United hires first director of data science
October 11, 2021
Manchester United Football Club has hired Dominic Jordan for the newly created role of Data Science Director, responsible for advancing the club’s use of data to help players and staff ‘succeed on the pitch’ .
Jordan (pictured), who has a background in geospatial analysis, comes from online retailer N Brown Group, where he led a team of 30 scientists, engineers and data analysts. Previously, he worked for population movement analysis provider INRIX as chief data scientist, developing algorithms to help monitor the flow of people and vehicles in transportation systems; and was responsible for science and innovation at location-based content service provider ITIS Holdings.
In his new role, Jordan is tasked with improving the way the club connects and analyzes the vast amounts of data generated across its football operations. His job will be to assemble a team of scientists and data analysts who will gather, cleanse and combine data from all kinds of sources for use in recruiting players, automatically analyzing patterns and using computer vision to extract information from video streams in real time.
John Murtough, director of football, said the appointment reflects the growing importance of data science in a range of areas within the club and its potential to provide competitive advantage. “We already use the data extensively to analyze player performance and fitness, and to spot opponents and recruiting targets, but there is huge potential to strengthen our existing capabilities and build new ones, as part of the development process. ‘a more integrated approach to management and using data.
âIt’s not about replacing the human elements of performance and decision making. Coaches will always rely on their knowledge and judgment, and players on their experience and instinct. But these things can be supplemented with intelligent use of data. Ultimately it’s about making sure players, coaches and support staff have the best information possible to make the right decisions, quickly, âadded Murtough.
All 2006-21 articles written and edited by Mel Crowther and / or Nick Thomas, unless otherwise noted.