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Lead Data Scientist

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur is a world-famous football club based in London. On the pitch, the Club competes in the upper echelons of the English Premier League and is a regular participant in marque UEFA club competitions.

9 May 2024
Full Time
Closing date
22 May 2024

The Football Insights Department provides data-derived insights that impact decision-making across football departments, from the First Team to the Academy and including both Men's and Women's teams. Our mission is ensuring that critical processes, from player recruitment to performance optimisation, are consistently informed by thorough, high-quality information. With a focus on building a single source of truth, developing rigorous quantitative models, and delivering effective tools for interrogating data, our intention is to empower stakeholders with insightful statistical analyses that are both timely and actionable. Leveraging data as our fundamental commodity and powered by talent, we are looking to push the cutting edge of football analytics to drive the club towards its ambitious footballing vision.

Job Purpose

  • To lead the development and refinement of advanced statistical models and machine learning techniques, creating innovative metrics and insights that enhance the analysis of player and team performance.
  • To lead research initiatives that explore new methodologies in football analytics, continuously pushing the boundaries of data science to provide the club with cutting-edge insights.
  • To foster strong collaborative relationships with Data Engineers and other key technical roles within the department to ensure seamless integration and operationalisation of analytics models, driving the adoption of best practices in data science across the club.

Key Resposnibilities

  • Develop, validate, and automate advanced statistical and machine learning models to generate innovative metrics and insights from complex data sources, enhancing the understanding of player and team performance.
  • Manage the full modelling lifecycle, ensuring best practices in data science and engineering are applied from data collection through to model validation and automation.
  • Collaborate with the Data Engineering roles to enhance the productionising of models, ensuring their seamless integration into the club's operations.
  • Undertake research projects that address critical football questions, delivering novel insights that shape club strategy and decision-making.
  • Work closely with Insights Analysts across scouting and performance areas to translate data insights into practical, actionable strategies, fostering a unified approach to data-driven decision-making across the club.
  • Collaborate with the club's Technology Department to leverage and evolve a modern tech stack, ensuring the seamless integration of data analytics capabilities with the club's broader technological infrastructure.
  • Take responsibility upholding our technical best practices and standards, and mentor staff on good programming practices and coding literacy.
  • Manage key relationships with data vendors and technology partners, ensuring access to timely and relevant data that supports the club’s processes.
  • Cultivate external research networks, ensuring our insights strategy and approaches are in line with the latest research and methods within machine learning, data science and sports analytics.
  • Contribute to the expansion of the Football Insights department by identifying areas for growth, thus shaping its future direction and capabilities.
  • Play a pivotal role in the recruitment and onboarding process for data science talent, from identifying potential candidates to advising on hiring decisions, with a focus on building a diverse and skilled team.

Person Specification

Skills and Competencies


  • Master’s or higher degree in a quantitative field (Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or related fields).
  • 3+ years as a Data Scientist or combined experience with a related role within data science or research.
  • Extensive experience in applying data science, statistical modelling, and machine learning techniques.
  • Advanced proficiency in statistical programming languages, especially Python and/or R, for data analysis and model development.
  • Proficient in SQL development and knowledgeable about database and data warehousing technologies.
  • A solid background in cloud-based computing environments, demonstrating proficiency in utilising cloud resources for data analytics and ensuring seamless integration of data pipelines and analytics platforms.
  • Proficient with cloud-based machine learning toolsets, such as TensorFlow, Azure ML, and other ML frameworks, to leverage state-of-the-art cloud technologies for advanced analytical modelling.
  • Understanding of CI/CD practices, including the use of repositories for versioning and control, to ensure robust, scalable, and reproducible code management within data science projects.
  • Proven capability to lead cross-functional projects and collaborate effectively with technical teams, ensuring that data science initiatives complement and enhance the data engineering frameworks established within the club’s Football Insights department.
  • Excellent communication skills, capable of effectively presenting complex insights to a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Experience with B.I. tools, preferably Tableau, for creating impactful and interactive dashboards that translate complex data into actionable insights.
  • A track record of conducting innovative research in sports analytics, applied within professional sports settings, or disseminated through publications, industry forums, or social media.


  • Previous leadership experience in managing a data science team, demonstrating the ability to mentor, guide, and develop team members while driving projects to completion.
  • Understanding of data architecture principles, including the design and implementation of robust data models and ETL processes, to support the construction of scalable and efficient data systems.
  • Familiarity with big data tools like Apache Spark for processing “out-of-memory” datasets.
  • Proven experience collaborating with first-team stakeholders within a professional sports environment, demonstrating strong interpersonal and relationship-building capabilities.
  • Experience with utilising StatsBomb and SkillCorner data.

Personal Attributes

  • Passionate about football, with a keen appreciation for the dynamics and pace of elite sports.
  • Innovative and strategic, employing creative solutions and advanced analytics to improve team and player performance insights.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, fostering strong relationships across the club to drive data-centric strategies.
  • Committed to continuous learning and development, embracing new methodologies in data science to stay ahead in the field.
  • Proactively manages project timelines and workload, especially during critical periods of the football season, ensuring timely delivery of solutions.
  • Highly ambitious, constantly seeking to harness the latest advancements in data science to secure a winning edge and drive the club's success forward.

How to Apply

Please click “Apply Now” to begin your application.

Additional Information

Full Time
Job Type
Research & Data Analysis
Sports Science & Medicine
Pay Information

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