Inside ODCN: Krzysztof Machowski

Inside ODCN - Krzysztof Machowski

Meet Krzysztof Machowski, the Data Quality & Integrity Manager at IMG ARENA, whose extensive background in sports and data management has been crucial to the development and enhancement of data quality and integrity standards within the company. With a lifelong passion for sports, both as a spectator and an active participant, Krzysztof transitioned from being a sports oddsmaker to spearheading the Data Quality & Integrity division. His journey from engaging deeply in sports analytics to his current role exemplifies his dedication and innovative approach to sports data management. At IMG ARENA, Krzysztof is instrumental in overseeing the processes that ensure the accuracy and reliability of data collection, playing a key role in supporting Data Collectors across the globe with precision and dedication. His leadership and commitment to excellence continue to drive the success and integrity of IMG ARENA’s sports data collection efforts.


Krzysztof, can you share with us how your background and interest in sports have shaped your journey into becoming the Data Quality & Integrity Manager at IMG ARENA? 

I have been interested in sports for as long as I can remember. As a fan and spectator, I spend hours watching sports on TV and live in venue. I was an active football player and later a youth coach, and as a person who likes competition and new challenges, sport is not only a passion for me, but also a way of life. I feel privileged to be able to combine it with my professional career, earlier, as a sports odds maker, and now as a Data Quality & Integrity Manager within the IMG ARENA brand. 


As the Data Quality & Integrity Manager, how do you approach the challenge of maintaining high-quality data collection and integrity? 

I try to follow the principle that if we demand the highest quality, we should all start with ourselves. Therefore, I monitor and verify not only the quality of our Data Collectors performance, but also of my team members and myself. We all play in one team, attack the same goal, and just like in any team sport – we cannot win the match alone. 


Leading a team that plays a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of our sports data, what are the key qualities you look for in team members, and how do you foster these qualities within your team? 

Being a valuable team player within Data Quality & Integrity requires a passion for numbers or a passion for sports disciplines that are included in the current IMG ARENA portfolio. I am fortunate to lead a team of people who have both. This undoubtedly makes my job and the tasks we face as a department easier, but it also helps us to cope with more difficult moments and the workload which is high at certain times during the year. 


What are some of the common challenges your team faces in ensuring data quality and integrity, and how do you approach these challenges? 

My role primarily involves overseeing the rating process across our entire network of Data Collectors. The vast number of matches we evaluate, combined with the need to ensure the timeliness of these processes, demands both experience and the full commitment of our team. We strive to utilise the observations collected as a foundation for the continuous enhancement of the data quality we deliver to our clients, while also focusing on the further development of our Data Collectors’ skills. A significant challenge I encounter involves meticulously planning the team’s working schedule and prioritising the most crucial tasks to ensure both efficiency and high data integrity. 


Krzysztof, you often respond to dispute claims regarding Data Collectors’ game performance. How do you balance fairness and objectivity in resolving these disputes? 

First, I must comply with the regulations and the Points Deduction Table. The rules must be the same for everyone – regardless of the country or level of competition. During the rating process our main duty is to rate the quality of data sent to our clients. However, I have been around the sports world long enough to know, that there are many factors influencing Data Collector’s performance, including visibility, internet connection, weather conditions, seating quality within the stands or a referee’s gestures. All this affects a data collectors’ quality of work. 

For this reason, I am more than happy with the procedures that enable Data Collector Managers to take these factors into account, before making the final decision regarding the assigned salary and bonus system. 


Looking forward, how do you see the role of Data Quality and Integrity evolving in the field of sports data collection? 

We have an old saying in Poland: those who do not move forward, tend to go backwards, so we are always looking for a way to improve as a department. Regardless of whether they are new technological solutions (audio/video tools) or expanding the qualifications of team members, the pursuit of perfection never ends. 


How do you ensure that your team stays motivated and engaged in their roles, especially during challenging periods or when faced with high-pressure situations? 

I like to think of myself and my team as a football squad. Just like a football team, we are given specific tasks. Each of us have our own individual goals as well. As a manager, I emphasise honesty and the right to share observations, even if they are critical. Therefore, as a manager, I place excellent value on dialogue, honesty, and exchange of views within the team, before deciding. If each of us accepts the path we must take, it will be easier for us to overcome the difficult moments that will surely appear along the way. 


In a role that demands constant vigilance and adaptation, how do you keep yourself and your team updated with the latest trends and technologies that helps evaluate the data collection?   

I observe my team as they work. Thanks to this, I know the strengths of each member and assign them to areas they will learn most easily. I do this so they can later share knowledge with the rest of the team. I lean towards Diego Simeone’s (Atletico Madrid coach) style, who always tries to highlight the strengths of his players, instead of reminding them of their flaws. 


Outside of your professional life, what hobbies or interests do you engage in, and do they influence your approach to your work in any way? 

As I mentioned at the very beginning – I’ve loved sports, ever since I was little kid. Therefore, most of my interests outside of work are still somehow related to sports and physical activity. After the adventure with wrestling and football, there was time for long-distance running and boxing. Recently however (mainly because of my son), it is basketball, with hours spent playing one-on-one on a nearby basket court. 

While at home, I like to turn on the PlayStation (EA FC Football, Call of Duty), read, or simply watch some Netflix series. The main event of each week though, is a trip to the stadium and cheering on my local football team, the fourteen-time Polish champion – Ruch Chorzów. 


If you could experience any sports event in the world, which one would you choose and why? 

I would love to go back in time and attend a Chicago Bulls game from the 90’s. Sit within the United Centre sports hall and experience the famous team line-up’s introduction. The intro music and stadium speaker shouting: “from North Carolina, playing at shooting guard, wearing number 23, Michael… Jordan”.



Interested in becoming a data collector for IMG ARENA? Click here to read more about our ODCN team, or view our current vacancies.

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