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How a platform for live football data wins new customers

Read-the-game Entwicklung für Institut für Spielanalyse


Complete seasons recorded 




Data points 


The Institut für Spielanalyse is the leading sports science-based management consultancy for sports organisations and elite athletes in Germany. 








read-the-game platform 



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With, the Potsdam-based Institut für Spielanalyse GmbH and SPRYLAB have created a digital and data-based football league table. The read the game platform uses real-time match data and statistics to provide a new way of experiencing and interpreting football matches. It promises fun and new insights into team success patterns, why series develop or which player determines the rhythm of a game. The data presented goes beyond simple statistics and can tell stories.  

“It was important for us to create a platform that could bring our way of analysing matches to the entire football world. Fans can use the data to philosophise about their team, professionals can use the data to work on their strengths and weaknesses on and off the pitch. And we also present the most beautiful data in the world,” says Hannes Kulok, responsible for data acquisition and data mining at the Institut für Spielanalyse. 

The challenge: innovative storytelling in football

With the aim of presenting “the best football data in the world”, the two managing directors Dr Christoph Moeller and Dr Karsten Görsdorf set out at the end of 2016 to find an agency with which they could jointly realise this ambition. The match data collected by the German Football League (DFL) through its subsidiary Sportec Solutions AG, or by any other data collector in the world, needed to be converted into meaningful statistics in real time. The main technical challenge was to build an architecture that would process the data directly and present it in an attractive frontend that would be fun and interactive for users. In addition, the solution had to be incredibly scalable: from normal use outside match days to very high user loads during matches. 

Before developing read-the-game, the Institut für Spielanalyse, together with the Technical University of Munich and Spiegel Online, won Google’s Digital News Innovation Fund. The aim of the fund was to promote innovative football storytelling. This led to the first exciting projects. This first important funding was ultimately the impetus for the institute to take a more systematic approach to the topic of sports data refinement and to take the development of the game platform into its own hands, having previously been active in an advisory role. “The Google DNI funds gave us the opportunity to start a transformation process from consultant to data refiner. SPRYLAB was the best choice because of its innovative strength, its understanding of competitive sports and its geographical proximity,” says Görsdorf, describing the search for a suitable agency. 

The success of the platform for us is that we use it not only as a successful fan site, but also as a showcase for our products and have already generated new customers as a result.
Hannes Kulook
Hannes Kulok
Senior Consultant

The solution: data refinement in real time

The Institut für Spielanalyse has been working with SPRYLAB since 2017. The result is not only the platform, but also a complex construct for creating dashboards and reports. So it’s not just a pretty face in the form of data visualisation, but also a lot of accessible know-how

The technical architecture allows football data to be imported, processed and refined in real time. The data is played live within 60 to 90 seconds and visualised in statistics. For this purpose, widgets have been developed that independently retrieve the data for visualisation. In the background, a service receives the data in real time via web sockets, processes it and makes it available in a visually appealing way. The widgets themselves then retrieve this data via highly scalable AWS API gateway interfaces. A blog and podcast are also integrated into the site, which is proving popular as a complete package. A number of post-match dashboards have also been created and are used by sports media editorial teams and betting operators.  

When looking for a suitable agency, the Institut für Spielanalyse had specific requirements. The agency had to have an innovative technological approach and the size of the team was also crucial. The Institute did not want to be dependent on individual developers, but wanted to work with a larger team that would ensure the project was driven independently of individuals and that there was an understanding of sport, particularly football.  

It took twelve months from the blank sheet of paper to the finished widgets, with the site going live after nine months. SPRYLAB was heavily involved in the project from the beginning: a joint critical examination of the project and the identification of different solutions helped to further sharpen the concept of read- the-game. Originally, it was intended to be a platform for fans with even more features, but the goal was adjusted during the conception phase: In addition to being an exciting site for football fans, the website has become the most important tangible application case for the Institute’s products. The website can be used as a concrete example to show customers what is possible with data and how the widgets work. The widgets were designed from the outset to be offered to other clients. Görsdorf describes this as follows: “The design of the widgets is a competitive advantage for us: the content and graphics can be adapted to the customer’s CI and therefore represent an important monetisation opportunity for us”. 

The technical details briefly


  • Widgets: Initially based on Google Polymer, later based on React 


  • Serverless processing

  • Highly scalable server-less interfaces (AWS API Gateway)

  • Live widgets: Data is read from Websocket in real time, refined and prepared for the widgets 

  • Storage in Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon S3 and SQL 

read-the-game shows what is possible with football data and is a wonderful showcase for our work, which we are constantly developing. In SPRYLAB we have found a highly committed, technically savvy and sports-minded team that will continue to accompany us on our journey.
Karsten Görsdorf
Karsten Görsdorf
Managing Director

The result: 42 million data points later

The read-the-game website has now collected data from four full football seasons and converted it into exciting statistics, representing some 42 million data points. Overall, user feedback has been very positive, with the interactivity of the tools often highlighted. The platform still does not advertise and also achieves a good reach through blog posts and the podcast 

The platform fulfils several functions for the company and is used for customer and internal analysis as well as a widget store. read-the-game is therefore not only a platform for data refinement, but is also intended to become a kind of cross-sport marketplace in the future. The technical infrastructure is designed so that it can be used for other sports in the future – expansion is already in the pipeline. 

“We come from a scientific and research background and conduct our own studies. We are therefore interested in constantly expanding the database for our analyses,” says Kulok.

The Institut für Spielanalyse now also has raw data from various data providers and data rights holders, with the aim of always being able to look at the data itself. Together with SPRYLAB, the Institute has developed algorithms to refine the raw data and extend it with read-the-game-specific logic. By connecting additional interfaces (via AWS Api Gateway) developed by SPRYLAB, this raw data can be analysed using Tableau software. The use and analysis of the raw data enables data-driven scouting decisions, high-quality benchmarking analysis and data-driven storytelling. This allows the company to further expand its consulting services. 

About the Institut für Spielanalyse

Founded in 2010 and based in Potsdam, Institut für Spielanalyse GmbH is the leading sports science consultancy for sports organisations and elite athletes in Germany. The company offers consulting, match analysis and services for associations, clubs, media, betting providers and players, particularly in the sports of football, basketball, handball and volleyball. 

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