Complete Guide to Become an Analyst

Feb. 27, 2024, 11:26 a.m.

Complete Guide to Become an Analyst

In the current era of sports, analytics has become crucial to understanding and improving team performance. In a context where competition is increasingly intense and winning margins are reduced to fractions of a second, sports analysis has become a fundamental element to improve skills and strategies.

In recent years, we have witnessed an exponential boom in the adoption of video analytics technologies in sporting environments. From team sports to individual disciplines, coaches, athletes and teams have recognized the imperative need to unlock the mysteries of performance by meticulously reviewing every move, tactic and decision on the field.

This has not only popularized the use of analytical tools, but has also enabled a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the game. The ability to break down plays, identify patterns, evaluate individual and team performance, and study opponent strategy has become critical to success.

And, as in all aspects, when a new need arises, so does the demand for specialized professionals. From professional leagues to minority sports, the need has become crucial. And not just because being able to analyze your team's or your opponents' plays will give you an edge in winning, but also because it can be applied to areas such as sports medicine, and using the data to prevent injuries.

And if you've made it this far, I guess you'll want to know the steps to become one of them, right?

Before you start in the world of sports analysis, you should define your goals and specific areas of interest: Are you passionate about football, basketball, rugby, do you prefer to work with statistical data or tactical analysis? Researching and understanding the specific demands of your area of interest will give you an advantage in this field.

While it is true that most analysts today are trained as sports coaches, as it allows them to have a better knowledge of strategies, game modes, methodologies, this training is not essential, although it does facilitate the work of the analyst when it comes to identifying actions or analyzing data. What we do recommend is some additional training to accredit your knowledge, such as university programs in statistics, data science or related fields. In addition, there are numerous online courses and specialized certifications that will enable you to acquire key technical skills.

Handling specific sports analytics tools is essential. Platforms such as Longomatch offer a wide range of functionalities to analyze matches, identify patterns and evaluate the performance of athletes. There are also other tools such as Catapult or Statsport, which will allow you to extract physical data from players, and Tableau or PowerBi to work with data you have extracted from your Longomatch analysis. Take time to familiarize yourself with these tools and practice regularly to hone your technical skills.

Theory is important, but practice is even more important. If you are just starting out in the world of analysis, we always advise you to start by analyzing your favorite team, your local team or a team whose way of playing catches your attention, as this will help you to get used to this method of working and you will gradually increase your skills.

Building a strong network in the industry is key to advancing your career. Participate in analytical projects, seek out internship or volunteer opportunities, and make connections with professionals in the field. The practical experience and connections you build will be invaluable as you advance your career. Many of our contributors tell us that they started out by going to watch games being played around their city, recording them, analyzing them and then sending the reports back to the teams so they could see the potential of the player in their squad, and that helped them make their way in this world.

Create a portfolio that highlights your skills and past projects. Include analysis reports, tool demonstrations and any significant contributions you have made in the field of sports analysis. This will make you stand out from the crowd, which is why the previous point is so important. If you have done a webinar for a tool or brand, a training course with a school, volunteering for under-resourced teams, learning workshops... Every point adds up!

The world of sports analytics is constantly evolving, so it is crucial to keep up to date with the latest trends and technologies. Read relevant articles, attend conferences and participate in online communities to keep learning and adapting to new developments in the industry. One of the platforms that moves this type of information is LinkedIn, as it is a professional network where people in your field share opinions, experiences, jobs, and it is very easy to connect with each other.

Job hunting in sports analysis can be challenging, but patience and perseverance are key. Apply for jobs, conduct interviews and look for opportunities to prove yourself. Every experience, even interviews that do not result in employment, will provide learning and growth. Some clubs will ask you to specialize in a tool they use on a daily basis, others will ask you to be knowledgeable in the methodology the coach uses, and there are endless possibilities. This will also give you an idea of what is moving in the market, and what training you need to get the job of your dreams.

If you have followed the steps above, you probably already have a fairly extensive network of analysts or coaches, so this point will be easier for you. Seeking mentors in the industry can significantly accelerate your professional development. Participating in seminars, mentoring programs or sporting events will help you connect with established professionals. Mentoring can provide valuable insights and guidance on your path to success as a sports analyst.

Ultimately, becoming a sports analyst requires a combination of education, technical skills, practical experience and networking, but we are confident that by following these steps, with your passion for sport and commitment to your development, you are on the right path to achieving your goals.


Good luck on your journey!