"Our big contribution is seeing the product from the coach's point of view"
In the first part of our interview with Track160’s analysts, we spoke to Roy, Geva, Daniel, and Maor about the route they took to the company, and as people with a deep understanding of the Israeli football scene and experience in its top clubs - about unique difficulties of working in analytics in a sub-elite football country.
Here is the second part of the conversation, where we spoke about what makes them an important part of improving the product inside the company and about the integration of data solutions into leagues, associations, and clubs.
Roy, Geva, Maor, and Daniel are not just another team in Track160. Their importance in operating the machine is impossible to overstate. They work directly with the customers, but their knowledge allows them to function as a customer inside the company. Nobody knows better than they do how to represent the interest, convenience, and desires of the end-user.
Not just another team in Track160. Daniel, Geva, Roy and Maor
"We were there. We know what it’s like to be a coach looking at the system, and we know what the coach wants to show his players. I think that’s a huge benefit to our company,” Daniel says. “There are also features in the solution that we helped promote, like the transitions. We saw, as everyone did, that it was one of the most visible aspects of the last Euro, and we wanted to respond to a global trend that became dominant. We’re trying to identify trends and give solutions in the product.”
Track160’s automatic solution offers many advantages to the users. It starts with optical tracking, which unlike other solutions (Broadcast footage, GPS wearables) generates tracking and event data for both teams. It then automatically tags every single event - a huge bonus for clubs that don’t have analysts to do it and an equally important time saver. Finally, it creates a full dashboard for all performance analysis and physiology, with exclusive metrics.
When we ask the analysts about their favorite feature in the system, we get a variety of answers. “When I saw the product in the job interview, I was pretty shocked about the options,” Roy says. “I think the most amazing element is the immediate connection between data and video. A single click connects every single event in the game to appropriate video.”
"The most amazing element is the immediate connection between data and video"
For Geva, it’s about convenience. “Track’s system doesn’t just make physiological and technical solutions like wearables obsolte, but includes everything they create along with video into one set of post-match reports. It’s something that could spare a club a lot of grief.”
Specific metrics also come up. “I’m a fan of dangerousity,” Daniel says about the exclusive possession-based metric the system offers. “One of the trending topics in football analytics these days is how to evaluate how dangerous a team is while not overlooking attacking possessions that didn’t end in a shot on goal.
"People still talk about xG, but it doesn’t consider situations where a goal wasn’t scored purely because of a striker missing a cross by one centimeter or events where a defender almost scores an own goal. Dangerousity provides an excellent solution for those situations.”
"I love compactness,” Maor adds. “Anyone who understands football understands the huge tactical advantage in tracking the distances between players. I don’t just mean the whole team, but also individual squads like the three central midfielders in a 4-3-3 formation. Good coaches can get a lot of value out of it, and our product offers that with a direct link to the video.”
"People still talk about xG, but I'm a fan of dangerousity"
Did you ever analyze enough games by a team and got to your own tactical insight thanks to the product?
“It actually happened recently,” Geva says. “Daniel and I took a small project on ourselves and looked at 30 games of a certain team that uses our platform. We looked at all sorts of situations we filtered with Dangerousity, and after fifteen minutes it practically shouted at us that the left full-back is a central anchor of the team’s offense. A defensive player involved in every dangerous situation is still very rare”.
“If we’d looked purely at the data, and how much he’d passed or ran, we wouldn’t have arrived at that insight. Through the metric, though, it took us seconds. Also, think about this analysis’s value in scouting your opponent. And anything we did could have been done by a coach with the most basic knowledge of the system.”
Maor notes another example. “Earlier this year Track160 took part in the MLS NEXT cup playoffs, tracking and analysing the matches. At the end of the tournament, we put out a report summarizing the games played. We discovered that one player was at the top of every single measurement, even when compared to players three age groups above his. His potential was clear as day. Last month he made history being the youngest player ever to make a professional appearance in American team sports. He is only 13”.
Don’t miss it when the stars align for the last part of this interview, where we asked the analysts about the people who will use Track160: The leagues, the clubs, the academies, and the coaches in all of them.
- We also interviewed Ori Uzan, a former Israel national team player and a coach. Here is part 1 - Check out our latest social media football analytics round-up - What working with data analytics taught someone who knew nothing about football
In case you're wondering about the solution our analysts help us polish, here's an intro