This week, the NFL introduced new data insights to its football operations, the first time the league has done so since it launched the league’s digital platform in 2010.
The league also introduced a new analytics department that will track player development and analytics across all of its football teams, a move that will expand its research capabilities.
The NFL has long relied on a team of statisticians, including Nate Silver, to help guide its football development efforts.
Now, though, it has a broader, more diverse group of data scientists and analytics professionals to help run the process.
The new department will also help the league track player success and development, a process that could help the NFL find ways to keep players on the field longer.
“The analytics department is going to be doing a lot of the analytics work, as well as making sure that they are also looking at the player’s performance,” NFL Media analyst Mike Garafolo said on NFL Network on Monday.
“The data scientists are going to have a great deal of insight into where they are with the development process and what the metrics are that they’re trying to identify and identify the things that are working.”
Players are also expected to see a significant boost in the data-driven process as they begin their final seasons of their contracts.
The NFL Players Association will continue to work on player contracts, and NFLPA President Eric Winston said on Monday that he hopes to see the league “be able to get players back on the fields sooner than the players who signed their contracts before them.”
With the data departments now in place, the league will have more control over its players.
The union has said that the new department, which has already been approved by the league, will help the union better understand how the players feel and interact with their teams.
With NFL players on board, there are plenty of benefits to having a new group of people to collaborate on player development, Garafolosaid.
“When we had players, there was no department,” Garafloosaid, who is a former player and former NFL Network analyst, “There was no one who had a vision and was working on what our players wanted and needed.”
The new data departments will also be working with the league on player health, which is a big area of concern in the game.
While the NFLPA has had a relationship with the NFL since 2013, it’s been the league that has pushed for a new data analytics initiative in recent years.
The idea is to help the players track how they’re performing and help the club determine how to improve their play.
“We’ve been talking with the players since the summer and they want us to look at how they are performing, what’s going on in their lives,” Garfoloosaid on Monday on NFL Live.
“We’ve already been in contact with the medical team, so we’ve already seen some of that, and we’re excited to see what they’ll do with the new data and how we can help them with that.”