United appoint Dominic Jordan as director of data science

M16Red

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Would love to know what a data scientist within a football club does all day? How much data is there on players? Suppose it’s only going in one direction!
The company I work for has been doing the data for the NFL, there is all types of data right down to ball speed rotation or impact velocity of hits.
 

Adnan

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Why has it taken him over a year to start doing this?
It hasn't taken him over a year because he only started in his role in March this year due to the Covid pandemic, which is mentioned in the article posted above. And him putting a team of data scientists together will take a bit of time because you want to put together the best team possible.
 

Cassidy

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It hasn't taken him over a year because he only started in his role in March this year due to the Covid pandemic, which is mentioned in the article posted above. And him putting a team of data scientists together will take a bit of time because you want to put together the best team possible.
Hopefully he didn’t just start putting a team together in Oct/Nov when hes been here since March and knew he was joining sooner…
 

Adnan

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Hopefully he didn’t just start putting a team together in Oct/Nov when hes been here since March and knew he was joining sooner…
If he's been at work since March, then it's perfectly normal for him to delay the recruitment of data scientists due to the transfer window being on the horizon. And it was mentioned that he was heavily in the recruitment process.
 

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A lot of times you'll also want to have an extensive set of data to look at. Six months worth would be a good amount to effectively analyze for trends, etc.

No point brining people in if there's no data to work with.
 

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Why has it taken him over a year to start doing this?
Apparently he needed something called 'computers' and a cutting-edge piece of software called 'MicroSoft EggShell' to do some of his more advanced number-crunching. I hear it took him 6-months to explain to the Board why it couldn't be done on the fax machines they had invested good money into in 1987

Obviously I jest...BUT....I know loads of people in various IT roles in Manchester and also people who have applied for jobs in IT at United and apparently until very recently (and maybe still) it was backwards beyond all belief...as I am sure we can all imagine
 

Gazza

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Looking to become "dominant"?

From playing catch up would parity with other top clubs not be a more realistic aim?
One step at a time should be the objective.
I’ve never seen a mission statement or corporate plan which was about “catching up”. Aim to the best and see where it takes you, seems the logical approach. This does not mean that improvements are not made step by step, rather the at the end goal is to be best in class - the two approaches do not interfere with each other really. To put it another way: Are they not going to hire someonefor a particular job because he/she is “too good” and the priority is to catch up rather than be the best? Doesn’t seem logical.
 

Cassidy

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If he's been at work since March, then it's perfectly normal for him to delay the recruitment of data scientists due to the transfer window being on the horizon. And it was mentioned that he was heavily in the recruitment process.
Its not perfectly normal at all. When I start a new leadership role I don’t stop planning the future just because I have things I have to do now
 

Adnan

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Its not perfectly normal at all. When I start a new leadership role I don’t stop planning the future just because I have things I have to do now
Who says he wasn't planning for the future? You don't come into a role on the football side of the club at the tail end of the season and then ignore possibly the most important part of your remit (transfer window) which is to aid the recruitment team by applying the data to players that have already been identified.
 

crossy1686

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Would love to know what a data scientist within a football club does all day? How much data is there on players? Suppose it’s only going in one direction!
There's a lot, from individual player data points to team and opposition data points. Probably over a billion when you factor in everything. I previously worked for a behaviour tracking company and we had an absolute tonne of material. We could accurately predict leadership potential and highlight those who needed training.
 

Sparky Rhiwabon

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It hasn't taken him over a year because he only started in his role in March this year due to the Covid pandemic, which is mentioned in the article posted above. And him putting a team of data scientists together will take a bit of time because you want to put together the best team possible.
The Covid pandemic finished ages ago?
 

Lee565

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Watch us hire this guy to help with making shrewd player recruitment only to spend all next summer chasing de Jong and timber :lol:
 

Adnan

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The Covid pandemic finished ages ago?
When did it finish? My work place is still taking precautions.

But that's besides the point, he started his role in March this year due to the delay caused by the pandemic according to what's being reported. And I think we should focus on the development of the data science department that he will develop and then lead.
 

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I’ve never seen a mission statement or corporate plan which was about “catching up”. Aim to the best and see where it takes you, seems the logical approach. This does not mean that improvements are not made step by step, rather the at the end goal is to be best in class - the two approaches do not interfere with each other really. To put it another way: Are they not going to hire someonefor a particular job because he/she is “too good” and the priority is to catch up rather than be the best? Doesn’t seem logical.
No, me neither.
The people and organisations he will be competing with are no mugs and there will be more bright young things working their way up with sky high dreams and objectives coming up on the rails.
 

Cassidy

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Who says he wasn't planning for the future? You don't come into a role on the football side of the club at the tail end of the season and then ignore possibly the most important part of your remit (transfer window) which is to aid the recruitment team by applying the data to players that have already been identified.
Totally missing the point. Nobody said he should ignore anything. Top role in a top organisation you do both concurrently.
 

Adnan

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Read the first post of mine you responded to
And read my response to your post which gave you a plausble explanation.

You plan for the future without neglecting the hear and now. And when he started in his new role, it was at the tail end of the season with the transfer window on the horizon. And from what I've learned over the years, especially listening to Liverpool's head of data science, the transfer window requires his full attention.
 

Borys

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Would love to know what a data scientist within a football club does all day? How much data is there on players? Suppose it’s only going in one direction!
He'll sit on Redcafe in stats thread and spit comments like "Stevie Wonder could se that..., I don't need stats to know this". Then in response he'll be getting analyses from some involved posters only to report it to his boss. Redcafe will turn into Stackoverflow.
 

Gazza

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No, me neither.
The people and organisations he will be competing with are no mugs and there will be more bright young things working their way up with sky high dreams and objectives coming up on the rails.
Yeah, I mean, obviously. Not sure what your point was but I'll move on.
 

Cassidy

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And read my response to your post which gave you a plausble explanation.

You plan for the future without neglecting the hear and now. And when he started in his new role, it was at the tail end of the season with the transfer window on the horizon. And from what I've learned over the years, especially listening to Liverpool's head of data science, the transfer window requires his full attention.
Its not plausable in my opinion. I.E I am saying thats a mistake. You don’t delay either thing. At that level of leadership both things should be running concurrently. Thats my opinion.
 

Adnan

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Its not plausable in my opinion. I.E I am saying thats a mistake. You don’t delay either thing. At that level of leadership both things should be running concurrently. Thats my opinion.
Is it possible to do both or would it be sensible to prioritise the up coming transfer? Because as I've mentioned in my previous post, Liverpool's head of data science (Ian Graham) has said that the transfer window requires his full attention because his primary role at the club is mostly to do with recruitment. And some of the guys who work under him don't focus on the first team but are focused on other aspects at the club, which includes the youth teams.

So as far as Dominic Jordan is concerned, it makes absolute sense to focus on the transfer window that's on the horizon, before conducting interviews to build his team of data scientists, who will focus on all the teams from the first team, down to the various youth teams.
 

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Is it possible to do both or would it be sensible to prioritise the up coming transfer? Because as I've mentioned in my previous post, Liverpool's head of data science (Ian Graham) has said that the transfer window requires his full attention because his primary role at the club is mostly to do with recruitment. And some of the guys who work under him don't focus on the first team but are focused on other aspects at the club, which includes the youth teams.

So as far as Dominic Jordan is concerned, it makes absolute sense to focus on the transfer window that's on the horizon, before conducting interviews to build his team of data scientists, who will focus on all the teams from the first team, down to the various youth teams.
What would Jordan do on his own to support the transfer window when he's just started though?

I don't think he's been sitting on his hands, that's not what he gets paid for. I'd assume he has a good reason to only start recruiting his team now. But I struggle to understand how he would be occupied full time supporting the transfer window if he's only just started and doesn't have a team yet. (I suppose he can have off-the-shelf software, data, and models to work with, but all the same.)
 

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What would Jordan do on his own to support the transfer window when he's just started though?

I don't think he's been sitting on his hands, that's not what he gets paid for. I'd assume he has a good reason to only start recruiting his team now. But I struggle to understand how he would be occupied full time supporting the transfer window if he's only just started and doesn't have a team yet. (I suppose he can have off-the-shelf software, data, and models to work with, but all the same.)
Could have been spending time understanding the system, where the issues where, what kind of issues they were, who we actually had on ground, their competencies, and therefore what specific skill sets he actually needed to hire for.
 

Adnan

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What would Jordan do on his own to support the transfer window when he's just started though?

I don't think he's been sitting on his hands, that's not what he gets paid for. I'd assume he has a good reason to only start recruiting his team now. But I struggle to understand how he would be occupied full time supporting the transfer window if he's only just started and doesn't have a team yet. (I suppose he can have off-the-shelf software, data, and models to work with, but all the same.)
His role is to help the recruitment team make better decisions on the recruitment side of the club along with other duties which should come into play once he builds his team of data scientists. Data is already collected and used on the football side of the club by the technical Chief scout Mick Court, who leads a team of 4 according to reports. But having someone with the pedigree of Dominic Jordan (data scientist) taking over the data analytics department that already exists on a certain level can only be a bonus due to his expertise in the field.

When Damien Comolli joined Liverpool as the DoF in 2010, he brought over Ian Graham to the club in 2012, who then came and assessed what needed doing before they built their team and department to what it has become.

Below is the twitter handle of Dominic Jordan and if any one of our budding data scientists would like to apply for a role, please apply below.

 
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Boondog

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I detest statistics and newfangled nonsense but we probably have an era ahead where the team with the best algorhythms and ability to artificially scrounge the world talent pool will reign supreme.
 

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My favourite RedCafe moments are when losers on the internet attempt to assess the job performance of a bloke they couldn’t even recognise ten minutes prior to reading an article about him. Keep it coming, lads.
 

Sir Erik ten Hag

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Watch us hire this guy to help with making shrewd player recruitment only to spend all next summer chasing de Jong and timber :lol:
Then De Jong gets benched by McTominay and Timber gets benched my Maguire. :wenger:
Competitions are always healthy for the team.
 

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My favourite RedCafe moments are when losers on the internet attempt to assess the job performance of a bloke they couldn’t even recognise ten minutes prior to reading an article about him. Keep it coming, lads.
In a field they could never understand, and without any discernible corporate experience.

These too are my favourite Redcafe moments.

What I admire most is the certainty and conviction of their judgement, despite being borne out of almost complete ignorance.
 

Adnan

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I don't think one needs to meet any of these people in person to understand their remit in their respective roles in football. You just have to listen to those who work in the field with great success to form a opinion.

There's a lot of information out there but not many who listen and learn about how data is applied at the highest level in football. So when someone like Michael Edwards explains how data is applied on the football side of the club or how Ian Graham (data scientist) explains his role when it comes working on the football side of the club, it's important to listen to these people and not bury your head in the sand and make ignorant statements like one needing to meet these people to understand the basic inner workings on the structural side of a top level football club.
 

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I don't think one needs to meet any of these people in person to understand their remit in their respective roles in football. You just have to listen to those who work in the field with great success to form a opinion.

There's a lot of information out there but not many who listen and learn about how data is applied at the highest level in football. So when someone like Michael Edwards explains how data is applied on the football side of the club or how Ian Graham (data scientist) explains his role when it comes working on the football side of the club, it's important to listen to these people and not bury your head in the sand and make ignorant statements like one needing to meet these people to understand the basic inner workings on the structural side of a top level football club.
Can we not just make up our minds about what WE (those who don't work in football) would do and then say that is the correct thing to do, even if it is contrary to what those who are among the best in their field say?
 

Adnan

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Can we not just make up our minds about what WE (those who don't work in football) would do and then say that is the correct thing to do, even if it is contrary to what those who are among the best in their field say?
You have to be more specific, so I can best answer your post.
 

Cassidy

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Is it possible to do both or would it be sensible to prioritise the up coming transfer? Because as I've mentioned in my previous post, Liverpool's head of data science (Ian Graham) has said that the transfer window requires his full attention because his primary role at the club is mostly to do with recruitment. And some of the guys who work under him don't focus on the first team but are focused on other aspects at the club, which includes the youth teams.

So as far as Dominic Jordan is concerned, it makes absolute sense to focus on the transfer window that's on the horizon, before conducting interviews to build his team of data scientists, who will focus on all the teams from the first team, down to the various youth teams.
Notice I never said anything about an upcoming transfer window not being prioritised.

Also prioritising something does’t mean totally neglecting another. Its quite possible maybe he had to convince those internally these hires were required. Again goes back to my point that if that the case the delay is disappointing. Maybe he was doing an assessment of what we had already and working out what was required.

In any case it would be a travesty if the delay was soley (he had to focus on the upcoming window) that would be a poorly run setup and organisation (which of course is not beyond the realms of United)

Fact is though these are ifs and maybes. We don’t know what the reasons are
 
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Adnan

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Notice I never said anything about an upcoming transfer window not being prioritised.

Also prioritising something does’t mean totally neglecting another. Its quite possible maybe he had to convince those internally these hires were required. Again goes back to my point that if that the case the delay is disappointing. Maybe he was doing an assessment of what we had already and working out what was required.

In any case it would be a travesty if the delay was soley (he had to focus on the upcoming window) that would be a poorly run setup and organisation (which of course is not beyond the realms of United)

Fact is though these are ifs and maybes. We don’t know what the reasons are
No you didn't mention an upcoming transfer window, hence I had to bring it to your attention that a transfer window requires the full attention of a head of data science according to Liverpool's Ian Graham who has more than a decade's worth of experience on the structural side of a top level football club.

There's a lot of things we don't know about, on the structural side of a football club, but there's things we could learn, if we took the time to read and listen to people who work within the field we're here discussing instead of jumping to conclusions without understanding who the key players are when it comes to developing the data science strategy at the club.

And your entire argument here is based on planning for the now and long-term when it comes to the development of the data science department on the football side of the club. And I will attempt to provide you evidence with references that demonstrate that the planning for the data science strategy at the club doesn't only involve the head of data science but someone who oversees the planning and creates the conditions/foundations for a head of data science to then build from that foundation. And that person is given the title 'strategy executive' or 'head of strategy' and his job involves planning for the long-term.

And that person goes by the name of Chris Chiang who joined the club in October 2017, and was tasked with developing the strategy on the data science side of the club, which would later allow John Murtough to appoint a head of data science on the football side of the club, which was a first for the club. The long-term strategy involves Chris Chiang and to a lesser extent Dominic Jordan if we're specifically focusing on the development of the data science department at the club. So it's easy to see why someone like Ian Graham at Liverpool would say that the transfer window requires his full attention, whilst someone in a head of strategy role, plans for the long-term due to his/her role not being directly involved on the structural side of the football club.

Also from my own observation on this forum, there seems to be a paranoia on the forum regarding what developed in the last 9 years starting with David Gill. And it seems that paranoia is now being projected on people who weren't involved in creating the instability at first team level. We still have the same incompetent owners, but the hierarchy on the football side is very different. Damien Comolli at Liverpool is probably seen as a failure by many in his role as DoF, if we only look at things with a very narrow lens. But if we attempt to look at things holistically with the benefit of hindsight, then it's clear to see that the changes he made during his short tenure at Liverpool on the structural side of the club would prove to be crucial in their success in the long-term. The likes of Graham and Edwards were brought to the club by Comolli and he only lasted in his role a year and a half.

Information below about Chris Chiang by the guys at the training ground guru who regularly have people on their podcasts who work on the structural side of top level football clubs. Which includes scouts, data scientists, players and coaches.

From April, 2020

https://trainingground.guru/articles/why-young-strategy-executive-is-so-important-to-man-utd

Below is a recent article about both Jordan and Chiang working together.

Melissa Reddy: "A year ago, Dominic Jordan was appointed as United's first director of data science, and he works with strategy executive Chris Chiang in helping the club make smarter decisions across the board, notably in player trading."

https://www.skysports.com/football/...manchester-united-now-back-under-erik-ten-hag
 
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Cassidy

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No you didn't mention an upcoming transfer window, hence I had to bring it to your attention that a transfer window requires the full attention of a head of data science according to Liverpool's Ian Graham who has more than a decade's worth of experience on the structural side of a top level football club.

There's a lot of things we don't know about, on the structural side of a football club, but there's things we could learn, if we took the time to read and listen to people who work within the field we're here discussing instead of jumping to conclusions without understanding who the key players are when it comes to developing the data science strategy at the club.

And your entire argument here is based on planning for the now and long-term when it comes to the development of the data science department on the football side of the club. And I will attempt to provide you evidence with references that demonstrate that the planning for the data science strategy at the club doesn't only involve the head of data science but someone who oversees the planning and creates the conditions/foundations for a head of data science to then build from that foundation. And that person is given the title 'strategy executive' or 'head of strategy' and his job involves planning for the long-term.

And that person goes by the name of Chris Chiang who joined the club in October 2017, and was tasked with developing the strategy on the data science side of the club, which would later allow John Murtough to appoint a head of data science on the football side of the club, which was a first for the club. The long-term strategy involves Chris Chiang and to a lesser extent Dominic Jordan if we're specifically focusing on the development of the data science department at the club. So it's easy to see why someone like Ian Graham at Liverpool would say that the transfer window requires his full attention, whilst someone in a head of strategy role, plans for the long-term due to his/her role not being directly involved on the structural side of the club.

Also from my own observation on this forum, there seems to be a paranoia on the forum regarding what developed in the last 9 years starting with David Gill. And it seems that paranoia is now being projected on people who weren't involved in creating the instability at first team level. We still have the same incompetent owners, but the hierarchy on the football side is very different. Damien Comolli at Liverpool is probably seen as a failure by many in his role as DoF, if we only look at things with a very narrow lens. But if we attempt to look at things holistically with the benefit of hindsight, then it's clear to see that the changes he made during his short tenure at Liverpool on the structural side of the club would prove to be crucial in their success in the long-term. The likes of Graham and were brought to the club by Comolli and he only lasted in his role a year and a half.

Information below about Chris Chiang by the guys at the training ground guru who regularly have people on their podcasts who work on the structural side of top level football clubs. Which includes scouts, data scientists, players and coaches.

From April, 2020

https://trainingground.guru/articles/why-young-strategy-executive-is-so-important-to-man-utd

Below is a recent article about both Jordan and Chiang working together.

Melissa Reddy: "A year ago, Dominic Jordan was appointed as United's first director of data science, and he works with strategy executive Chris Chiang in helping the club make smarter decisions across the board, notably in player trading."

https://www.skysports.com/football/...manchester-united-now-back-under-erik-ten-hag
You didn’t need to bring it up actually. But I digress
 

Stig

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There's a lot, from individual player data points to team and opposition data points. Probably over a billion when you factor in everything. I previously worked for a behaviour tracking company and we had an absolute tonne of material. We could accurately predict leadership potential and highlight those who needed training.
How did you predict leadership potential ?

I would be interested to know what you can tell us without giving away your trade secrets

Thanks.
 
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