Hello (geeky data) world!

Welcome, everyone, to the Massive Report Data blog. This is the platform I will use to discuss the methods and meta-issues behind the data stored on this site.

This is not the place to find analysis of the Crew, the players, or any of the content of the parent site. All of that coverage will be over on Massive Report, where a slew of talented writers strive to give blanket coverage to the team, the league, and the sport.

So, what will you find here? The process of working with this data is interesting to me, above and beyond (and occasionally more than) the soccer itself. Over the course of my following soccer I have progressed from keeping track of players in a Word document, through an Access database, and now to a MySQL database. I’ve built application layers in Access, ASP, ColdFusion and PHP. I’ve put visualizations together using Excel, Processing, and a variety of javascript libraries.

More recently, I have begun to study data analysis as a subject in its own right. Most recently I’ve taken two different courses on via Coursera, which has introduced me to R, and concepts ranging from hierarchical clustering to multi-variable regression.

These are the sorts of things I expect to cover in this space. As should be blindingly clear, none of this belongs on the Massive Report network.

If you are a like-minded geek, welcome – even if you have no interest in soccer.

Revisiting playing time: how important is a stable lineup in Major League Soccer?

Two weeks ago, I published an article that analysed the distribution of playing time for Columbus Crew teams over the past 14 years. One of the apparent conclusions of that investigation was that, for a team to be successful, it is necessary to have a relatively stable core of players. The underlying charts identified that the more successful Crew teams had a group of 6-7 players who played at least 80% of the season, and a relatively small number of players who played more than bit roles, usually 15 players who appeared for at least 25% of the time.

Continue reading Revisiting playing time: how important is a stable lineup in Major League Soccer?

An analysis of playing time for the 2009 Columbus Crew

With the end of the year quickly approaching, and the 2009 season starting to recede into memories both good and bad, this seems to be a good time to look back and begin to consider how the Crew’s performance this season compares to┬áprevious years. One way to do this is to examine how playing time was distributed in 2009, compared with past seasons. Continue reading An analysis of playing time for the 2009 Columbus Crew