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Football Manager Data Warehouse and Analytics Project

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My name is Rory Houlihan and I am a Data Architect living and working in Prague. My job requires me to load, manipulate and store data for Data Analytics and Data Mining purposes. Given the amount of data in Football Manager, I thought it might be interesting and fun to try and build some sort of Data Analytics dashboards and reports to use to help me make decisions in my Football Manager career.

I haven’t played any football management simulation game in about ten years, so obviously my first step will be to start playing again and to re-immerse myself into the world of Football Manager.


To build a set of reports and dashboards to help me or any other Football Manager out there to better understand the underlying data in their saved game. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Players
  • Coaching Staff
  • Scouts
  • Finances
  • Opposition Teams and players


During the course of building this system, I will blog on the various steps that I undertook to complete the task. This way anyone else interested in building the same system will have a step by step approach on how to do it. I will also include various design and implantation ideas on the blog and hopefully open a discussion with the community on possible drawbacks to my solution and alternate solutions that might also work.

I will also blog about any football management careers that I embark on and hopefully include some of my end reports in here to help explain why certain decisions were taken over alternative ones.

Overview of Architecture

Here is a brief overview of the architecture of the system that I hope to build:

  • Extract as much data as possible in raw format from the Football Manager save game database. (So far this may prove to be one of the most difficult tasks)
  • Bulk load this data into a SQL Server staging Database.
  • Load this data using SSIS into a target Football Manager Data Warehouse.
  • Build reports using SSRS, Qlikview and possibly SSAS cubes.
  • Build a centralized dashboard to host these various reports.
  • Automate the entire process to work in the background.

SQL Server, Visual Studios and Qlikview are all available for free download in either Express Edition or for home/personal use.

In time I hope to have all these applications plus Football Manager itself running on a dedicated machine which I am planning to rebuild but is currently sitting in my storage room.

Data Analytics

Since I am just starting back with Football Manager there may already be some ways of getting these analytical questions answered directly in Football Manager already. Even if this is so, in some cases it might still be beneficial to recreate them within this new system so that we can give a graphical representation of the data rather than just a list of numbers. Some of the questions that I will work towards, if possible, will be:

  • How does a player’s in-game attributes effect his in game stats?
  • Is a player playing to be best of his abilities given his in-game attributes?
  • How well is a player improving given his current training scheme?
  • Which comparably skilled players can be obtained across what pay spectrum?
  • Which player attributes are the best indicators of on-field success?
  • Rate scouts based on number of hits or misses that they recommend.
  • Rate coaches based on statistical improvements in team performance, individual performance and youth team development.

I’m sure that some of these already exist and that some might not be possible with the data that’s available. I am also sure that there are other analytical questions that could be answered which I am currently not thinking of. My hope is that, by blogging, I will get some feedback from other Football Managers about further avenues of analysis that can be persued.

You can follow my site at http://footballmanagerdw.wordpress.com and you can follow me on twitter @FootballMangerDW

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