Conclusions of the use of Excel for soccer professionals
Excel is a tool that we are tired of listening to in our day to day, and it is generally belittled or underestimated. We are used to it being something of a clerk or people of the financial world. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What can be done with Excel (and a little practice) is an authentic madness. It is the kind of complementary training that should be mandatory in an analyst. If you still have not mastered it, I encourage you 100% to get in full with Excel, and try all its capabilities. You will leave your technical body hallucinated with everything that can be done, and within reach of all pockets.
What is Excel?
Excel is a Microsoft computer software based on spreadsheets. That is, it is a 2-dimensional matrix or table where we can store and manipulate data.
The explanation is enough, everyone knows what Excel is. But do you really know how to use it?
The 9 Most Important Features.
1.Data storage Fundamental as software to register and save your data in an organized way.
2.Use of formulas and functions, to perform calculations and transformations automatically.
3.Dynamic Tables, to analyze and explore the data through any of its dimensions.
4.Construction of graphics, to help the visualization of information, either to share with someone or for yourself.
5.Conditional formats, which automatically detect and highlight data that meets a certain rule.
6.Ability to identify trends, using past data to predict future data.
7.Integration with most software on the market, facilitating the import and export of data between tools.
8.Use in Big Data environments, in case we want to become analysts or data scientists.
9.Available to everyone. It is not free, worth about € 80, but in many cases Windows computers are already licensed. Who doesn’t have Excel on their PC?
Free Football Squares Spreadsheet
What can a soccer analyst do with Excel
Ok, Excel is used a lot and has many utilities. But what does it have to do with football? How can I use it to help my team?
Many of us are multiemployed in different sectors that have nothing to do with football, but all of them have in common that at some point you will have the need to use Excel.
Initially Excel was conceived as a tool for accounting and financial areas, but the reality of today is that Excel is a basic utility for any sector, and football and sports is no exception.
With Excel, you can do many things related to data, such as the following:
If you are a soccer analyst:
Store records of events that occurred in games and training for further analysis. For example, goals, ABP …
Load external software data, such as Opta, InStat or any of the video analysis software you use.
Generate graphics to share with your players or technical body.
Draw patterns, trends and meaningful information.
If you are a coach:
Keep track of tasks done in training, to measure in which volume you are working each technical-tactical concept.
Control and record the minutes played by each player, and attend training sessions.
If you are a physical trainer:
Record physical performance data (distances traveled, speeds …).
Monitor and analyze efforts to identify individually and in groups the adequate levels for your team.
If you are scouter:
Maintain a database of players where you can make queries according to the needs of your team.
Record individual statistics of each player to assess their talent.
And that’s just basic functionalities for which you do not have to be an expert, although you can handle it with ease.
Excel is a Big Data tool?
With the amount of data available today, the rise of Big Data, there are many tools and platforms that have emerged to specialize in managing that immense amount of data.
We are talking that millions of records are generated in a football match. Just to calculate the position (by coordinates) of the ball and each player for 90 minutes, we already overcome the barrier of 3 million coordinates (or more, depending on how often you calculate the position).
Excel has the limitation of 1,048,576 rows, so we would not be able to save that information in a file. In addition, we would need a very powerful computer for Excel to manage that amount of records. For that volume of information, as I said, there are other special platforms.
Does that mean that Excel is not a Big Data tool?
Nobody agrees on how many records Big Data is considered, since the definition speaks of the amount of data that a traditional software is not able to process (not only by volume, but by speed and variety).
Many people will tell you that Excel, therefore, is not purely a Big Data tool. And they may be right. But my point of view is different.
Excel has a great participation in Big Data projects and its integration with Business Intelligence platforms is total, so it does not make sense to talk about Excel as something outside of Big Data.
In my experience of several years with Big Data projects, for one reason and another, we have always used Excel as part of the project. Mastering it has been an important part of the success of the project.
And yes, I know what you are thinking. But Big Data is not just for big companies. You, as an analyst, can manage your data and need Excel to organize your little “Big Data”, no matter how humble your football team is.
Analysis with Excel from significant samples.
And what happens if I only have Excel, but my data volume is more than 1 million records? Work with samples. When there are surveys or investigations, you cannot ask or deal with 100% of people. A representative sample (chosen by statistical methods) is taken and the same is studied to then be able to extrapolate the results. It will require from you an advanced statistical knowledge to assess the quality of the sample and other variables that will indicate if your study is applicable to your total data.
This way, you can use Excel for Big Data analysis without having to use the complete data set.
The next step after Excel: Power BI
If the volume of data you have is not able to manage it with Excel, then it is time to step forward and get started in Power BI. Now if we are talking about Big Data 100%.
Power BI is the next tool that Microsoft has created for data extraction, transformation and generation of dashboards, graphs and reporting. This new visualization and analysis tool makes Excel a huge business intelligence tool that you can apply to your soccer teams.
Gallery of Free Football Squares Spreadsheet
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