Getting Started with CSV Results Files
This tutorial aims to introduce the core features of the CSV data files available with the Pro-Data service and how best to make use of them. This tutorial should be one of the first you read whilst making the most of your subscription and will help form a basis for working with other tutorials on the site.
This tutorial requires a spreadsheet application, web browser and text editor to be installed, most people will already have such software on their PC.
Whilst this tutorial makes use of LibreOffice Calc, the same principals will apply to any other mainstream spreadsheet application including Microsoft Excel. LibreOffice Calc is a good choice of free and open source spreadsheet application should you not want to purchase Microsoft Excel and can be downloaded here: (https://www.libreoffice.org/).
Navigating to the Data Files
You must be logged in to the Pro-Data members site in order to access these data files, once logged-in the red Pro-Data Members menu (below) will become visible to you.
Under the Pro-Data Members menu you will see an entry titled “Football Data”, from this page we can see a list of all leagues currently covered under the Pro-Data service:
As can be see above, all leagues currently offered will be visible on this page, simply click on the required league to be taken to that leagues data downloads page.
Once on any individual leagues download page the individual data files can be downloaded for the specified league, one season at a time. Simply clicking on any of the available links (like those seen below) will start a download for the season mentioned in the link name.
* Don’t worry about downloading too much, your Pro-Data subscription affords you unlimited downloads, so feel free to have a good look at what data is on offer *
It is also important to notice that the data files found on these individual league pages are broken up into two different categories, these are “Results” and “Events”:
The results files show all of the fixtures in any given season along with the final results for each game. At a minimum you can gain the half time and full time results for any game going back up to 10 years.
For many of the most recent seasons you can also see pre-compiled stats on a fixture by fixture basis, for example, this could include showing the number of corners, free kicks, and yellow cards each team acquired during the match (like below):
It is important to note that the quantity and quality of statistical data available for football games can change dramatically between different leagues and (generally speaking) is of much higher quality when looking at more popular leagues and more recent seasons.
The events files are, again, offered on a season by season basis, this means an individual events file will hold all in-game events for all fixtures within any given season.
In order to know which fixture a series of in-game events belong the “Fixture_ID” column can be used. The “Fixture_ID” columns in both the results file and the events file are linked, this means if you know the ID of a fixture you can then link all necessary events within the events file to said fixture.
It is also really important to know that in game events are time sensitive, this means in order for the data to be of any use the “minute” column must be used so that we know which order any events happened in (but this will be covered in more detail in other tutorials, this is just an introduction).
The Key Descriptions File
You may have noticed by this point that most of the column headings in these two CSV files are abbreviations, this is necessary to make efficient use of space in the file given the large number of data points we record.
A special file called the Key Descriptions file will be available from each download page containing the translations for each of the abbreviations in use. Using this file is as simple as cross referencing the abbreviation to the same abbreviation in the file to get the full description of what data any given column offers:
There is also a dedicated key descriptions page available to members provided for ease of use, this can be found using this link.
Where to Next
As was mentioned above, this tutorial aims to provide a quick introduction to some of the data available on the members website and how to access it.
Other, more advanced tutorials will be available to help you you to get the most out of this data and importantly provide guidance on how to effectively manage the link between the Fixtures and the Events data and go on to produce statistics of your own.