Together with IBM, we are delighted to unveil Scout Advisor, an innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that the club will use to provide its scouting team with comprehensive data when it comes to the identification and evaluation of potential player signings. Built on 'watsonx', IBM's AI and data platform designed for businesses, the club proposed the Scout Advisor concept with the aim of incorporating it into its pre-existing, in-house developed suite of data-generative tools.
The club's data department has been working for months with IBM's Client Engineering team to build this latest application, using natural language processing and the base 'watsonx' models to search for and analyse massive amounts of information present in its scouting database. This includes both quantitative data, such as height and weight, speed, number of goals or minutes played, and unstructured qualitative data, such as the written analysis included in its more than 200,000 scouting reports.
The solution's natural language processing (NLP) capabilities have enabled the club to use multiple large language models (LLMs) to help improve the accuracy and efficiency of player identification. Using cues from the club's scouts describing the key characteristics of players being assessed, Scout Advisor generates curated lists of candidates based on the traits being sought and summarises the full set of reports for each individual player. In addition, Scout Advisor links each player to our current database to produce further detailed information on their quantitative performance data.
Scout Advisor reduces the time needed and provides crucial support when it comes to making key decisions
Traditionally, player recruitment has been based on a combination of subjective human observation and data analysis. However, these measures have various restrictions given the amount of time they take and only consider a limited number of factors. Now, IBM's Scout Advisor tools offers us a competitive advantage, combining those existing indicators with generative AI to close the gap between metric-based scouting and human behaviours that are hard to measure. This will improve our ability to identify talent and help in our decision-making processes.
Our scouting team is widely renowned for its data-based recruitment of emerging stars; yet, the club is also a pioneer in developing its own methods of using detailed information to gage a more rounded profile of each player we scout. IBM watsonx nurtures this data and communicates it in digestible terms, identifying possible signings based on key qualitative indicators and expert scouting opinion.
“Technology is part of the club's DNA"
José María del Nido Carrasco, our club president, expressed that this step forward will mean that "our scouting and analysis teams are committed to finding the best players and young talent that will help the team and the club develop. They have worked tirelessly to build an impressive bank of data that will aid us to make informed decisions. Now, with IBM's support, we can use this to its full potential. We are delighted to work with IBM, knowing that this project could be revolutionary not only within our club, but also throughout the sporting industry. It gives us a significant advantage in the recruitment process, allowing us to get the best fit for the team. We strongly believe that this collaboration will have a positive impact on sport in general. This is a clear indication of our intention to show that technology is not only an object, it is a powerful and helpful tool on our journey to the future. It will form a key part of our DNA."
Ana Paula de Assis, Chair and General Manager EMEA at IBM, recognises the pride of "collaborating with Sevilla FC to use the full extent of 'watsonx' generative AI in order to help and to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the recruitment process. With the correct use, AI continues to change the rules of the game for businesses across all sectors." Horacio Morell, President of IBM Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel, explained that "at IBM we are very excited for this collaboration with Sevilla FC so that we can transform the process of signing new players and unlock the full potential of data analysis. This is a clear demonstration of how 'watsonx' can help companies through AI to gain a competitive advantage."
Our collaboration with IBM is a fundamental part of our business strategy moving forward, with the intention of using AI to assist sporting operations. Integrating 'watsonx' into the current system will allow us to increase our ROI and make better, quicker and more informed decisions.