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Andrew Ramsey ’10: Analyzing the Mathematics behind Soccer

Jared Scott Tesler
How can soccer teams use data analytics to outperform their opponents? Just ask Andrew Ramsey ’10.
 
A biometry and statistics and applied economics and management double major at Cornell University, Ramsey was instrumental in establishing professional soccer club A.C. Milan’s Data Analytics Department, where he served as Director of Advanced Statistics and Player Operations during his junior and senior years of college. The endeavor, which began as an independent study, inspired the founding of Ramsey’s own data analytics consulting company, AAR Analytics, specializing in player evaluation, tactical analysis, and player transfers for various soccer powerhouses throughout Europe and South America.
 
Baseball and basketball were heavily data-driven sports at the time, but soccer had not yet jumped on the bandwagon. So, while Ramsey was very confident in his company’s results, he says, he had to prove to the decision makers—coaches, general managers, and team owners—that what he was doing had merit.
 
“We have a proprietary algorithm that tracks the location of every single player using stationary camera feeds within the stadiums,” explains Ramsey, whose clients consistently see a 19 percent increase in point totals and have collectively won more than 100 trophies. “We use those feeds to give us the clearest picture of what’s actually happening and who’s actually contributing to the flow of the game.”
 
A soccer fan through and through, Ramsey’s first foray into sports took place at Shipley, where he competed on the varsity crew team. His Shipley education, he notes, has greatly contributed to his professional success.
 
“Academically, Shipley gave me a frame of reference for thinking about and approaching problems,” Ramsey says. “The math curriculum was especially helpful.”
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The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.