Lead Data Scientist

  • Tottenham Hotspur Football & Athletic Co Ltd
  • Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, High Road, London, UK
  • 12 May, 2024
Full time Data Science Premier League

Job Description

ob description

Founded in 1882, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is an English Premier League Club, based in North London.

 

Led by the late great Bill Nicholson, the Club became the first in England to win the League and FA Cup Double in 1961, and the first in the UK to win a European Trophy two years later. Spurs has since been home to some of the game’s great entertainers, including Jimmy Greaves, Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne, David Ginola, Gareth Bale, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane.

 

In April 2019, the Club opened an iconic new stadium that sits at the heart of a £1billion sport-led regeneration of North Tottenham. The stadium is the largest football club stadium in London and is a multi-use venue with the ability to host a variety of events 365 days a year, including NFL, boxing, rugby, concerts, and other major events, plus visitor attractions including Stadium Tours and the Dare Skywalk.

 

The stadium development scheme has to date created more than 4,000 new jobs for local people, with circa £300m pumped into the local economy each year.

 

Tottenham Hotspur has:

 

  • A clear strategy to develop talent from within its Academy, showcased by a strong track record of Academy players graduating to the first-team squad.
  • A £100m state-of-the-art Training Centre that supports the Club’s ambition to attract, develop and retain the best talent.
  • Commercial partnerships with globally-recognised brands including AIA Group Limited (AIA), one of the world's leading providers of life insurance services, and Nike, the world’s leading sports footwear and apparel company.
  • A commitment to minimizing its environmental impact across Club operations, being named as the greenest in the Premier League for the past three years. Tottenham Hotspur is a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, committing to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and become net zero carbon by 2040.
  • An award-winning Foundation that is renowned for creating opportunities to help enhance the lives of people in its local community through education, employment, health and social inclusion programmes.

 

The Football Insights Department provides data-derived insights that impact decision-making across football departments, from the First Team to the Academy and including both Men's and Women's teams. Our mission is ensuring that critical processes, from player recruitment to performance optimisation, are consistently informed by thorough, high-quality information. With a focus on building a single source of truth, developing rigorous quantitative models, and delivering effective tools for interrogating data, our intention is to empower stakeholders with insightful statistical analyses that are both timely and actionable. Leveraging data as our fundamental commodity and powered by talent, we are looking to push the cutting edge of football analytics to drive the club towards its ambitious footballing vision.

 

JOB PURPOSE

 

  • To lead the development and refinement of advanced statistical models and machine learning techniques, creating innovative metrics and insights that enhance the analysis of player and team performance.
  • To lead research initiatives that explore new methodologies in football analytics, continuously pushing the boundaries of data science to provide the club with cutting-edge insights.
  • To foster strong collaborative relationships with Data Engineers and other key technical roles within the department to ensure seamless integration and operationalisation of analytics models, driving the adoption of best practices in data science across the club.

 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

 

  • Develop, validate, and automate advanced statistical and machine learning models to generate innovative metrics and insights from complex data sources, enhancing the understanding of player and team performance.
  • Manage the full modelling lifecycle, ensuring best practices in data science and engineering are applied from data collection through to model validation and automation.
  • Collaborate with the Data Engineering roles to enhance the productionising of models, ensuring their seamless integration into the club's operations.
  • Undertake research projects that address critical football questions, delivering novel insights that shape club strategy and decision-making.
  • Work closely with Insights Analysts across scouting and performance areas to translate data insights into practical, actionable strategies, fostering a unified approach to data-driven decision-making across the club.
  • Collaborate with the club's Technology Department to leverage and evolve a modern tech stack, ensuring the seamless integration of data analytics capabilities with the club's broader technological infrastructure.
  • Take responsibility upholding our technical best practices and standards, and mentor staff on good programming practices and coding literacy.
  • Manage key relationships with data vendors and technology partners, ensuring access to timely and relevant data that supports the club’s processes.
  • Cultivate external research networks, ensuring our insights strategy and approaches are in line with the latest research and methods within machine learning, data science and sports analytics.
  • Contribute to the expansion of the Football Insights department by identifying areas for growth, thus shaping its future direction and capabilities.
  • Play a pivotal role in the recruitment and onboarding process for data science talent, from identifying potential candidates to advising on hiring decisions, with a focus on building a diverse and skilled team.

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

 

SKILLS & COMPETENCIES

Essential

  • Master’s or higher degree in a quantitative field (Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or related fields).
  • 3+ years as a Data Scientist or combined experience with a related role within data science or research.
  • Extensive experience in applying data science, statistical modelling, and machine learning techniques.
  • Advanced proficiency in statistical programming languages, especially Python and/or R, for data analysis and model development.
  • Proficient in SQL development and knowledgeable about database and data warehousing technologies.
  • A solid background in cloud-based computing environments, demonstrating proficiency in utilising cloud resources for data analytics and ensuring seamless integration of data pipelines and analytics platforms.
  • Proficient with cloud-based machine learning toolsets, such as TensorFlow, Azure ML, and other ML frameworks, to leverage state-of-the-art cloud technologies for advanced analytical modelling.
  • Understanding of CI/CD practices, including the use of repositories for versioning and control, to ensure robust, scalable, and reproducible code management within data science projects.
  • Proven capability to lead cross-functional projects and collaborate effectively with technical teams, ensuring that data science initiatives complement and enhance the data engineering frameworks established within the club’s Football Insights department.
  • Excellent communication skills, capable of effectively presenting complex insights to a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Experience with B.I. tools, preferably Tableau, for creating impactful and interactive dashboards that translate complex data into actionable insights.
  • A track record of conducting innovative research in sports analytics, applied within professional sports settings, or disseminated through publications, industry forums, or social media.

 

Desirable

  • Previous leadership experience in managing a data science team, demonstrating the ability to mentor, guide, and develop team members while driving projects to completion.
  • Understanding of data architecture principles, including the design and implementation of robust data models and ETL processes, to support the construction of scalable and efficient data systems.
  • Familiarity with big data tools like Apache Spark for processing “out-of-memory” datasets.
  • Proven experience collaborating with first-team stakeholders within a professional sports environment, demonstrating strong interpersonal and relationship-building capabilities.
  • Experience with utilising StatsBomb and SkillCorner data.

 

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

 

  • Passionate about football, with a keen appreciation for the dynamics and pace of elite sports.
  • Innovative and strategic, employing creative solutions and advanced analytics to improve team and player performance insights.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, fostering strong relationships across the club to drive data-centric strategies.
  • Committed to continuous learning and development, embracing new methodologies in data science to stay ahead in the field.
  • Proactively manages project timelines and workload, especially during critical periods of the football season, ensuring timely delivery of solutions.
  • Highly ambitious, constantly seeking to harness the latest advancements in data science to secure a winning edge and drive the club's success forward.

 

Safeguarding is fundamental to the success in all that we do. Successful candidates are subject to an Enhanced DBS check with child’s barred list.

 

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club welcomes applications from anyone regardless of age, disability, race, or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.