Our data science department brings together people from a wide variety of backgrounds: computer science, economics, engineering and philosophy, all united by an interest in football and digging into the data behind it. There isn’t really a perfect background or skillset to be a data scientist; we are looking for anyone who can bring new skills and perspectives to our team. The success of our company is built on a culture of innovation, and we want to keep innovating and developing new ideas.
We mostly use Python and MySQL, but you don’t need prior experience in them; in fact you don’t really need to be a technical expert at all – you need a curious mindset, good analytical skills and an ability to communicate your ideas to others. The problems we wrestle with are often complex, and the data is often imperfect. You should have no fear of uncertainty and working on problems with ambiguous answers. Our analysts register a lot of data in-house, which means we usually have high quality data to work with. We can spend less time data munging and more time on modelling and understanding the data.
We encourage a culture of empowerment, transparency and knowledge-sharing: we want to give our data scientists the information and tools they need to solve problems, and trust them to find the best solutions. We also have a strong learning culture – as a passionate data scientist we’d expect you to constantly wish to up-skill, something Football Radar will enthusiastically support.
The data science team spends its time trying to draw interesting and business-relevant conclusions from Football Radar’s extremely high-quality data. We aim to do this in a way that is fully up to date with the latest best practice in sports analysis, statistics and software development.
It’s a fantastic place for anyone who is eager to learn how many ways there are to control a football, how to fit multi-level statistical models or how best to collaboratively manage computer code.
Before starting at Football Radar I did a PhD in philosophy of probability, and had very little programming experience. I’ve been really well supported in improving in this area – there’s always someone around who’s happy to point you in the right direction. I’ve also been encouraged to pursue independent research into potential new ways of doing things and put them into practice.
The best thing about working here is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Every employee’s contribution is valued, there is always something fun going on and things are invariably managed in a relaxed, transparent and professional way.
One of the best things about Football Radar is the value they place on personal development. I joined the company as a Match Analyst with a mathematical background and I’ve been given a lot support to develop my skills. I’m now part of the Data Science team where we aim to improve our understanding of football by combining quality data with the latest statistical methods.
The data science team works closely with all areas of the company so the work is quite diverse. Some days you’ll be discussing the pros and cons of a new modelling approach and others you’ll be studying clips of a recent game. There’s a nice working balance in the team, you are given the freedom to decide your own solution to a problem but people are always happy to discuss and debate ideas.
There is a lot going on for people to get involved in outside of work too; charity links, social events and sports clubs. The office building itself is pretty sweet and a lot of effort goes into creating a laid back, friendly place to work.