Virtual Scout: Why an Independent Eye Can Be a Key Asset

Charlie Mitchell, our Head of Virtual Scouting, tells you how our Virtual Scout service can improve your recruitment process.

One of the age-old debates in football discourse focuses on the distinction between “eyes vs data”. Which approach will give you a better measure of a player’s skill set and ceiling? Using your eyes to assess them? Or looking at the underlying numbers?

Often, the premise of this debate is that the “eyes vs data” distinction exists as a binary rather than as a spectrum. Either you use your eyes or you use the numbers and never the twain shall meet. But what if they do exist in a more complementary relationship? What if the numbers can inform the eyes and the eyes the numbers?

This is the central principle behind our Virtual Scout service. Virtual Scout provides a high-quality, super-fast video scouting service in a simple and cost effective way. We deliver detailed technical scouting reports compiled by video scouts with professional club experience. All player reports are supported with inclusion of proven data analytics using our proprietary data models. By marrying together video scouting and data analysis, our contention is that a football club’s recruitment department can only benefit.

Here are some benefits we think our service offers…

Extended Depth

The most sustainable way to improve a scouting team in the long term is by adopting a systematic approach that helps scouting opportunities internally within your club. However, combining video scouting and data analysis can be a difficult procedure. For some clubs, a fully-integrated data analysis department can be seen as too costly. 

Our Virtual Scout service allows clubs a way to enjoy the benefits of a scouting approach which synthesises video and data for the fraction of the expense. We support the video scouting process with our proven data algorithms. This enables us to present a full breakdown of a target player’s position specific performance metrics.

Now, clubs are able to improve their depth of research to inform recruitment decisions without the need for a data analysis team of their own.

Extended Reach

For both data and video scouting, outsourcing allows you to extend your reach and cover nearly every professional league in the world as well as a large number of youth leagues. 

By integrating multiple layers of data and video analysis into our scouting process, Virtual Scout is distinguished from just using data providers who offer a platform to the club to work with. 

Analytics FC’s Virtual Scout sees a full integration of data analysis and video scouting in the process, ensuring the optimal outcome based on extensive research.

Extended Budget

Scouting is a costly process. Virtual Scout considerably reduces the number of expensive, labour intensive scouting trips. 

It does this by streamlining the process: live scouting can be done much more efficiently by using it more as a ‘final stage evaluation tool’ rather than as a means of identifying potentially interesting players in the first place.

By cooperating with an independent, external organisation, the autonomous advice can raise new questions and provide different perspectives. 

Extended Outlook

In many respects, the scout’s worst enemy is bias. 

Biases are quite hard to combat within internal departments. One way of mitigating this is to increase the inputs you consider when assessing a player. Virtual Scout offers this sort of neutral additional input. You don’t need to treat it as anything but another viewpoint amongst others. But it might make you reassess the status quo opinion on a player. 

Using independent, advanced analysis methods allows you to zoom in on strengths and weaknesses that a player shows within the club’s ideal profile. This way, we come to a balanced, independent opinion about a potential transfer target.

Extended Process

Working internally, a recruitment department might find it easy for their process to become stale. Using an independent, external service as part of their approach could help them improve their process and overhaul their recruitment.

Using Virtual Scout, a club will be asked to profile the players that they are looking for. This will raise questions about the game model they are seeking to implement, the KPIs that they are expecting to assess targets, and the skill sets they expect of their potential signings.

This itself should result in the club re-evaluating the way they are approaching the recruitment process and improve it for the future.

To find our more about Virtual Scout, head over to the product page on our website.

At Analytics FC, we provide software and data services to entities within football looking to realise the gains possible from analytical thinking.

Find out more about us, or get in touch if you have a question!

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