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Aston expertise enhancing professional football scouting

Football
Pioneering Scout7 Limited provides scouting and recruitment management solutions to professional football clubs and national associations worldwide. Now, working in unison with Aston University, they are to take on two KTP Associates to expand and adapt to meet market needs, to ensure they continue to play a major role in shaping the future of professional football scouting.                           

The core of Scout7’s product range is PROSCOUT7, which incorporates a unique, live database of over 110,000 professional footballers from over 127 countries. The database, which is updated 7 days a week by an international network of internal correspondents, centralises all essential player information relevant to recruitment, including performance statistics, a disciplinary record, medical history and transfers. Customised versions of PROSCOUT7, tailored to clubs’ specific needs, are installed in over 75% of the FA Premier League and at more than 100 other professional teams across continental Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East.

Scout7 is the acknowledged world leader in its field, but with the explosion of interest in professional football around the globe, the company is being presented with a rare if not unique opportunity. To continue its growth, Scout7 must re-engineer its core product (its football database) to meet changing market expectations. The academic team of Drs David Evans, Dympna O’Sullivan and Tony Beaumont from Aston University’s Knowledge Engineering Research Group have both the academic knowledge and the practical experience of partnering with commercial organisations in the development of object-oriented database structures, applications interfaces for novel access channels, and software methodologies.

Two KTP Associates are working on this exciting new project. One associate is focussing on the development of “Football Data Centre” (FDC); an adaptable data resource to be encapsulated within a web-service oriented architecture. The second associate is focussing on application services enabling the client to present and manipulate the data to meet their specific requirements in an integrated framework. The objectives will be the creation of software processes and a framework to deliver and maintain high quality software.

The combination of Scout7’s successful model, with the expertise that the KTP associates will offer in conjunction with Aston University, will give Scout7 the knowledge and capability to move forward in this fast-paced market.

The Lead academic Dr David Evans, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, said “This project will help the academic team further our real world experience of service oriented computing. It will generate case studies for taught programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level as well as excellent material for final year project students with real practical relevance. All of this combined shows the clear benefits of the programme to the academics involved.”

Scout7 Operations Director and project supervisor, Mr Bradford Griffiths, said, “The work being carried out by our 2 KTP Associates is core to the release of Scout7’s next generation products.  The project will allow us to easily customise solutions to meet our client’s needs, as well as providing a generic platform for continued expansion and the integration and delivery of 3rd party applications and data to our clients.”

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research