So Manchester City has taken a huge stride and has decided to encourage the development of statistics in the sport and has launched a program that will make the full suite of Opta data freely available to anyone who wants it and is willing to do something with it.
This is basically the ultimate crowdsourcing; after seeing how regular people attacking the statistical issues in baseball have improved how the game is analyzed, MCFC has decided to encourage the same approach with this program. We all know that Opta gathers a significant amount of data on every match, and now all that data will be at the fingertips of whatever eager hands want at it to pull apart and put back together again.
I just received an email with the data package from last year, and holy hell is it impressive. I've only picked at it for a few minutes and I'm seeing the potential of things to be done, and it doesn't even include the positional data we'll supposedly be getting (which is what I'm most looking forward to). Supposedly all match data will be made available within two days of each match; how exactly it's put together is currently unknown, but I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with this. If it works out like I hope it will, I think I'll try to put together some work on this from a Liverpool perspective to share with y'all.
If you're interested in signing up for this yourself, you can do so here.