Blog: my plans for 2016/17

I’ve been quieter than usual over the summer – mainly due to getting married but also thanks to an expansion of my team at work – but I have been giving quite a lot of thought to what I want to produce during the 2016/17 season. To give you an idea of what to expect (and also to keep myself honest), here is a short outline of what I’m intending.

Regular coverage

The current plan is to continue producing the graphics that worked well last year and introduce some newer stuff alongside it. To begin with there will be the match timelines following every round of fixtures, which provide a data-driven summary of each game. At around the five-match mark there will be enough data to justify gradual introduction of the league table permutations, match previews and scatter graphics. All of these should be up and running before the end of September, depending on how the underlying data looks.

Less regular features will include the fixture difficulty visualisations (which have already been produced for the new season), a look at squad churn (once the summer transfer window closes) and plenty of other ad hoc stuff (both old and new). In terms of the old, there will be re-runs of analyses like the league table footprints and minute-by-minute tables, while new stuff will include more player-centric features like this and see me attempt to wring even more insight out of the scant data available for the lower leagues.

I’m not going to mention any of the new things specifically at this point as – while promising – they’re still in development and I don’t want to jinx them.

Predictions and “E Ratings”

I was really happy with how useful the E Ratings proved to be last season and I’ve managed to squeeze a bit of extra accuracy out of the underlying model over the summer after adding a few new parameters. There’ll be more of the colourful predictions graphics from last season, plus some better (and more concise) explanations of what’s going on under the bonnet.

Blog posts

This is the first post in a new “blog” section accessible via the menu bar, which I’ll be using to provide occasional updates on how the site is developing and to introduce new stuff as it’s released.

Reduction in National League coverage

One thing there’ll unfortunately be a lot less of this season is coverage of the National League, due to the incredibly disappointing decision to reduce the level of in-match data collected. For years now there has been the same shot-level data available for the fifth tier as for Leagues 1 and 2, which in my opinion has massively enhanced the coverage and reputation of the competition, but this isn’t being collected for 2016/17 and therefore it won’t be possible for me to produce many of my regular pieces for this division.