Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Q&A: Liam Henshaw, Data Analyst & Scout

After developing a strong interest in analysis while studying Sports Coaching at Leeds Beckett University, Liam Henshaw, a data analyst and scout, spent several years honing his skills in the gambling industry. Now, as a Data Analyst and Scout for Heart of Midlothian FC, Liam combines his passion for data, analysis, and scouting in the world of football.

What sparked your interest in analysis and scouting?

Liam’s interest in analysis and scouting began during his Sports Coaching course at university. He specialized in analysis, starting with performance analysis placements at Leeds United and Bradford City. Working in the gambling industry for several years, Liam never thought he would return to football until he saw the impressive analysis work being shared on social media during lockdown. Intrigued by the data-driven approach, he immersed himself in learning about data visualizations and how they apply to recruitment settings. This newfound passion led him to part-time roles at clubs like Wigan and ultimately a full-time position at Hearts.

Building an online presence

Liam recognizes the power of social media in connecting with like-minded individuals and sharing knowledge. He started posting about Nottingham Forest, the team he supports, which gradually developed into a niche focusing on data and performance in the English Football League (EFL). By creating content he is genuinely passionate about, Liam fostered relationships with clubs and agencies and expanded his online presence.

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The importance of social media in career development

Liam emphasizes the significance of his social media presence in securing his role at Hearts. The Head of Recruitment was already familiar with Liam’s work through social media, making the introduction and subsequent discussions more seamless. Building an online presence not only showcases one’s skills but also opens doors to opportunities.

A day in the life of a data analyst and scout

As a data analyst and scout, Liam’s role encompasses various responsibilities. His typical day includes reviewing scouting notes and reports, analyzing data profiles to highlight promising players, and presenting his findings to the recruitment team. Additionally, he collaborates closely with head coach Steven Naismith and the coaching staff to align on player evaluations and game strategies.

The importance of communication and collaboration

Liam emphasizes the essential role of clear and transparent communication in his work. Working in a small team at Hearts, effective communication allows for quick decision-making and ensures everyone involved is on the same page. Liam highlights the importance of being able to communicate complex data analysis in simpler terms that resonate with coaches and other stakeholders.

Sharing knowledge and helping others

Liam is committed to sharing his knowledge and helping aspiring analysts and scouts. Through his website and social media platforms, he provides resources and tools for learning data analysis, scouting, and portfolio creation. Liam’s goal is to empower others to pursue their passion in football analysis and scouting by providing guidance and insights into the industry.

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Standing out in the early stages of a career

Liam advises aspiring analysts and scouts to create an online platform on platforms like Twitter, Medium, or LinkedIn. By sharing their work and connecting with others, individuals can build a network and gain valuable feedback to improve and progress in their careers. Finding a niche and sharing content that one is genuinely passionate about is key to standing out and attracting opportunities.

Additional tools and resources

Liam has developed Pro Scout Edge, a paid scouting platform that offers templates for individual and team scout reports, scouting resources, and a bookshelf with recommendations for data, scouting, and portfolio-related books. He is also building a course to guide individuals in building their analysis, scouting, and portfolio skills. Liam’s goal is to build a community and support others on their journey towards securing roles in the industry.

To learn more about Liam’s work, visit his website.

Q1: How did Liam Henshaw get into analysis and scouting?

A1: Liam’s interest in analysis was sparked during his Sports Coaching course at university. He gained experience through placements at professional clubs like Leeds United and Bradford City. After a detour in the gambling industry, Liam rediscovered his passion for football analysis and scouting through online community engagement during the lockdown. This led him to part-time roles and, eventually, a full-time position at Hearts.

Q2: How does Liam engage with his audience online?

A2: Liam actively shares his knowledge and insights on social media platforms like Twitter and Medium. He started by posting about the team he supports, Nottingham Forest, and gradually developed a niche in data and performance analysis for clubs in the English Football League (EFL). By focusing on a specific area and consistently sharing valuable content, Liam has built a following and fostered relationships with clubs and agencies.

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Q3: How did Liam’s online presence help him secure a job at Hearts?

A3: Liam’s online presence played a crucial role in landing his position at Hearts. The Head of Recruitment was already familiar with Liam’s work through social media, which facilitated discussions and demonstrated Liam’s expertise. Building an online presence not only showcases skills and knowledge but also establishes connections and opens doors to opportunities in the industry.

Liam Henshaw, a data analyst and scout, discovered his passion for analysis during his Sports Coaching course at university. After gaining experience at professional clubs, Liam pursued a career in the gambling industry before returning to football analysis through online engagement during the lockdown. Liam’s strong social media presence, particularly focusing on data analysis and performance in the EFL, played a pivotal role in securing his current role as a Data Analyst and Scout at Hearts. A typical day for Liam involves reviewing scouting notes, analyzing data profiles, and presenting his findings to the recruitment team. He emphasizes the importance of effective communication and collaboration with coaching staff. Liam shares his knowledge and resources through his website, social media, and platforms like Pro Scout Edge, aiming to help aspiring analysts and scouts build their skills and find opportunities in the industry. To learn more, visit Liam’s website.