Enhancing Data Interrogation for Player Recruitment

I know it is a cliché, but as modern technology continues to evolve, the only constant for technology companies like Scout7 is change.

With data and video now widely available on professional football from pretty much every corner of the world, intelligent analysis and interrogation of player information now forms a key part of the recruitment process at clubs operating at all levels of the football pyramid.

So as the industry has evolved, we have had to evolve too.

One of the key facets of my role as Product Manager at Scout7 is to sit down with each of our client clubs to establish how our applications can be set-up and individually enhanced to allow them to facilitate their day-to-day workflows. I know first-hand just how crucial it is for senior staff and recruitment analysts to be able to study information on players intelligently, based on indicators that fit the profile of the type of player they are looking to bring into their club.

As a result, during the first half of 2014 our Product Development team, with the input of our Account Managers, have been working on developing a new Advanced Player Search on the Intelligent Sports Framework.

The first phase of this facility has recently been launched, with further additional functionality scheduled to be introduced later on in the autumn.

In this blog I am going to try and outline the key features of this functionality and our motives for building it, which in simple terms is to empower clubs to monitor key markets, both at home and abroad, to unprecedented levels.

What is the Advanced Player Search?

The search allows users to create data search queries, which can be saved and stored on the ISF for future use. It enables club users to interrogate Scout7’s vast database resource, by selecting and filtering from several different criteria.

These range from personal player biographical information and contract status, through to domestic club history, as well as data relating to a player’s international career, using appearance data captured from both senior and youth levels.

It can go to such infinite detail that a club can literally filter from over 135,000 players who are currently actively involved in elite football and narrow it down to just a handful of players meeting very specific set parameters

Why have we developed it?

We recognised the need for clubs to be able to carry out a more focused search of our database. There was a potential wealth of information that clubs were sitting on, with no means of really tapping into it.

For example, at the point a club recognises that there is a requirement for a player to fill a certain position in their team, what do they do next? Make phone calls to contacts and agents? Or do they look back through shortlists and scouting recommendations?

We wanted to ensure that our database provided a resource at the start of the recruitment cycle, so we needed a tool that allowed clubs to use another avenue for identifying potential scouting targets.

We also wanted a way of opening up access to markets that a club may not have had exposure to through their existing network of club scouts and contacts. For example, a club may want to identify some emerging players in foreign markets where they have not previously scouted before, but are aware of players moving from these markets to be successful abroad.

In order to narrow down potential targets to watch on video through or live in the stadium, they could run a simple search with the following filters:

This will filter out a list of players who meet the search criteria, against which the user can then determine what information they want to show, from a list of 57 available data points.

The list can then be sorted by each column heading, to provide a ranking of players based on the most desired statistics within the results.

Clicking on any player’s name will open his ISF Player Profile, allowing the user to see more detailed biographical data, tagged video and information on previous matches, or schedule an assignment to see the player live or on video in an upcoming game.

All search results can be exported for more detailed analysis in excel, where a user can add their own analytical formulae, for example, with the option to export up to 10,000 players at a time.

Who is it for?

This really is a solution for any club as a means of enabling them to optimise their reach, in terms of providing a facility to highlight players that they might not otherwise be aware of, who they can then follow up, which in turn makes for a more efficient process. Whether this is senior recruitment staff in smaller departments, or recruitment analysts or technical scouts in larger operations, the overriding principle remains the same.

How will we make the Advanced Search even more powerful?

The next developments, due for autumn 2014, are going to allow users the ability to search their club’s match and player report data alongside Scout7 database information, which should make for a really powerful tool in kicking off the recruitment process.

This will be the only tool of its kind that allows a club to incorporate the assessments of its own scouting operation alongside biographical and appearance stats, to provide intelligent search results that are tailored entirely to the recruitment requirements of the club.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Advanced Search, please feel free to make direct contact with me at and I would be delighted to go into further detail about how it can support your recruitment operation.

by Nick Bradshaw Product Manager

Published 24 July 2014