Manchester United have appointed their first director of data science to advance the club’s use of data to help players and staff succeed on the pitch.
The club have appointed Dominic Jordan, a senior data scientist who will be responsible for improving the way the club collects data generated in its football operations.
Dominic joins United from Manchester-based N Brown Group, where he led a team of 30 data scientists, engineers and analysts optimizing operations at one of the UK’s largest online retailers.
Previously, he worked for a US-based global leader in population movement analysis, developing algorithms to help monitor the flow of people and vehicles in transportation systems.
Manchester United Director of Football John Murtough said the appointment reflects the growing importance of data science in various fields within the club and its potential to provide competitive advantage.
He said: “We already use the data extensively to analyze player performance and fitness and to identify opponents and recruiting targets.
“But there is enormous potential to strengthen our existing capacities and create new ones, as part of a more integrated approach to the management and use of data.
“It’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 those elements can be. complemented by intelligent use of data.
“At the end of the day, it’s about making sure players, coaches and support staff have the best information possible to make the right decisions, quickly.”
Speaking about his role, Jordan said, “Data science is the process of using scientific methods to extract knowledge and information from noisy data, and applying that knowledge to deliver actionable insights.
“So my job will be to put together a team of scientists and data analysts who will gather, cleanse and combine data from all kinds of sources to help real experts make effective decisions with more confidence. “