Behind-the-scenes tech heroes of Euro 2020



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EURO 2020 importance of business intelligence and fan data Image: Penolope Tomasi & UEFA

Football fiends the world over (both TV audience as well as online) as well as the fans enjoyed to the hilt the Euro 2020 fixtures recently – the adrenaline rush performances of the soccer giants, and each team doing their best to demonstrate pitch prowess. It was a fun-filled, edge-of-the-seat month for staunch soccer supporters.

But, behind every event, a kind of ‘ghost’ team works behind the scenes to ensure that everything goes off smoothly without any hiccups.

Fans may be the raison d’ etre of stadia events, but of equal import is fan data and business intelligence as pointed out by Penelope Tomasi, Leading Fan Data Strategy, Union of European Football Association (UEFA). The technical team plays a major role to ensure that the event is a roaring success.

Tomasi stated in a LinkedIn post, “What a #EURO2020 adventure! While you all enjoyed the front end of this tournament on stadia, TV and online… here’s a back end amazing team at UEFA you should hear about. They worked day and night to deliver all the #insights and #reporting of our digital properties to help our web, app, editorial, spectator, and promotion teams assess their performance live to drive the right next best move.”

She added, “Building reporting may sound easy to you but this is the result of three intensive years of building up a whole BI and insights infrastructure and team from nearly scratch.”

Italy was crowned the European champions after shootout win over England at the UEFA Euro 2020 Finals held at the Wembley Stadium in London (UK) on July 11th, 2021.

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2020 or simply Euro 2020, is the 16th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). It got off to a start on June 11th, 2021 and concluded on July 11th, 2021. The UEFA Euro 2020 was postponed in March 2020 due to the global outbreak of coronavirus.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative body for football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe. It is one of the six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.

The 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in Wembley, London (UK). It opened in 2007 on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished from 2002 to 2003. The stadium hosts major football matches including home matches of the England national football team, and the FA Cup Final.
 

Modus operandi

  • Consolidate 12+ data sources with big data in it;
  • Build a single fan view to make sure you have user level insights;
  • Score their engagement to check that what you deliver online is actually what our fans want;
  • Track each meaningful event on all our products, pages and screens;
  • Build 20+ dashboards to serve all internal stakeholders at the granularity level they need as during a tournament there is no place for vanity data but only actionable insights;
  • Train everyone on each reporting to make sure they can self serve;
  • Gather all the troops daily to help them digest the top info and don’t miss any important trend; and
  • Build ad hoc audiences insights to help product owners understand the user side story of their performance.

 
Added Tomasi, “Here are the architects of this success I am really proud of.”
 

The brains behind:

  • Vipul Kabra who started three years ago with Tomasi by playing on Excel to figure out how many users they had and lead today a very advanced near-live engagement scoring model and audience insight service.
  • Elisa Passoni who in less than two years built UEFA’s BI capabilities, designed all the reporting, signed off all the tracking, built the 20+ dashboards on time with their Tableau expert Anthony Augier and data engineer Daniel Leahy help, brought all the teams with her on this new insight journey and animated the daily morning data show.
  • UEFA’s Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) team who bore “our” extensive never ending requests to Cedric Cherhal, Isabelle GREGORI, Rolf Jordi, and Curzio Scuffi.
  • Our extended team members Sohil Gala and Keith Varty.

 

Know the team

  • Vipul Kabra – who is based in Nyon, Switzerland – is responsible for marketing data management and fan insights at UEFA. He is a Data and Analytics expert with seven years experience in delivering data, analytics and digital marketing projects.
  • Elisa Passoni is a Digital Transformation, Commercial and Marketing Strategy Analytics based in Geneva, Switzerland, and boast 10 years international experience in leading FMCG companies.
  • Anthony Augier – also based in Geneva, Switzerland – is a Senior BI and Data Consultant chez in UEFA.
  • Daniel Leahy – based in Zurich, Switzerland – work for Google and leads the development of AI-based industry solutions together with clients across EMEA.
  • Cedric Cherhal – based in Nyon, Switzerland, is a Business Solutions Manager at UEFA.
  • Isabelle GREGORI is a Digital, Customer Experience, CRM, and Change Management Project Manager and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Rolf Jordi is a Software Engineer based in Switzerland.
  • Curzio Scuffi – based in Lausanne, Switzerland – is a Business Solutions Manager at UEFA.
  • Sohil Gala – based in California, United States – is a Director, Data Science and Consumer Analytics at KORE Software.
  • Keith Varty, Commercial Director at Jarmany, is based at Esher in the United Kingdom.

 
Tomasi gave a big shoutout to the entire team most of whom are based in Switzerland, “What a #team! It was a fun and intense project to manage. We all learned a ton in the process and we cannot wait to continue spreading the data love during our club competitions future seasons.”

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