AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale has spoken about the analytics company that Toulouse use, which could also be used with the Rossoneri.
Cardinale spoke at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference together with Atalanta co-owner Steve Pagliuca and LAFC co-owner Mitch Lasky and he was asked about the use of data and analytics with Toulouse.
“Nowadays everyone uses data. We have a data analytics company called ‘Zelus’. We all get the same kind of data, it’s how you use it that matters. At Toulouse we have players from 18 different countries, and the team was built only based on data analysis, without scouting,” he said (via MilanNews).
“It was an experiment, and after a year we were promoted to Ligue 1. We are now in mid-table, we are playing at a level that is two and a half times what we invested in the transfer market. I think data plays a really big role, but particularly in bigger teams there is a need for a ‘hybrid model’ between humans and data.”
Who are Zelus Analytics? They were founded in 2019 and claim to be a ‘world-leading sports intelligence platform’ for the professional teams in their partner network. As Cardinale mentions, their processes focus more on the acquisition and processing of data rather than traditional scouting, i.e. the ‘eye test’.
The approach has certainly helped Toulouse get back into the top flight and they did so with a talented and diverse young squad, increasing the overall value of it in the process.
Can the analytics be used to find a coach as well?
We need a new better one to replace Pioli.