Monday, October 15, 2012

Where are they now? NHL players abroad during the 2012-2013 lockout.

This is not a good time for hockey fans.  When the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL owners the the NHL Players' Association expired and no new agreement had been reached, the owners decided to lockout the NHLPA.  This has resulted in a delayed start to the season and a possible repeat of the 2004-2005 season when the entire season was scrapped.

As the lockout became more and more certain, NHL players who were originally from Europe started to head back home and sign contracts to play with teams back in their home countries.  As the exodus of players continued, lists started to be compiled to allow fans to keep track of which players were playing for which teams.  However, most of these lists have been unable to tell the complete story of how many players are playing for which leagues and teams and in which cities and countries.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Olympic Medals: Counts and Scoring

First, let me start by saying that I love watching the Olympics.  I prefer the winter, but I am just as involved in the summer games.  I would consider qualifying to attend the Olympics as a competitor a major life accomplishment let alone winning any sort of medal.  These athletes spend most of their lives up to that point honing their skills in order to succeed in their sport.  It is amazing to watch them compete, regardless of the sport.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Viz

I am not a scientist nor do I have a background in the "hard sciences" (my degree is in Political Science).  However, I am a strong advocate for the Chesapeake Bay and have been actively involved in a variety of activities and organizations that are trying to clean up, preserve, and protect the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America.  At one time it was teeming with fish, crabs, and oysters.  However, after centuries of water pollution, air pollution, over-development along its shores, over-fishing, and agricultural runoff, it is currently in a very distressed condition.

I am currently conversing with a local watershed group about using Tableau as a tool to visualize the data that this specific local group collects about their waterway.  People are always wanting to know the condition of the waterway either out of general concern, or because they want to know if it is okay to swim or fish in the water.  During our initial conversation they recommended that I take a look at the data that the Chesapeake Bay Program makes available to the public.  So I downloaded a set of data focusing on three primary metrics:  dissolved oxygen, secchi disk depth, and water temperature.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hartigan's Hockey Team Ratings

A while back hockey fan extraordinaire @StephHartigan ranked NHL teams by her own set of personal criteria.  As I am always looking for new, unique data sets to play with in Tableau, she graciously provided me with a google docs spreadsheet of her rankings.  I took her team rankings and turned it into an interactive viz that she can share with her friends so they can have a better understanding of why she might choose one team over another.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Birds Do It, Bees Do It Part 2

Everyone makes mistakes.  Unfortunately, it seems like I make more mistakes than most.  Also, sometimes it seems I make more obvious mistakes than others.  Such is the case with my "Birds and Bees" viz from last year.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tableau Biz Viz Contest Entry: A Click-through History of Venture Capital Investment Deals

Tableau is holding one of their regular visualization contests.  Their Interactive Biz Viz Contest challenges Tableau users to take business data (any business data) and turn it into an informative, interactive data visualization using Tableau.  They give you some suggestions for data sets that are available.  I chose venture Capital data from the National Venture Capital Association.  Check it out...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NHL Player and Team Stats v2.0

The 2011-2012 NHL regular season is finished, and the first round of the playoffs is well underway.  During the latter part of the hockey season, I took some time to revise and update my original NHL player stats data viz.  I ended up with something radically different than what I created last summer for the Tableau sports data contest.  It is not #fancystats, like what Neil Greenberg specializes in, but I think looking at hockey data in this format is fun and informative.  Check it out...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Player Nationalities for Hockey Day Across America

Yesterday, the NHL participated in USA Hockey's Hockey Weekend Across America with their own Hockey Day Across America activities.  For hockey fans, such as myself, it is great to see the sport of hockey being promoted in the United States.  The day featured some great games on national television, and had special events around the country to encourage kids and families to try out hockey for the first time.

The television line up featured three great games:  St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Buffalo Sabres, and the  Detroit Red Wings vs. San Jose Sharks. There was only one disappointment however -- the Red Wings dominated the airwaves yesterday.  (Full disclosure:  I am a St. Louis Blues fan which means I am very much biased against the Red Wings.)  In fact, Laura (@hildymac), from the blog Thrashing the Blues, and I had a Twitter conversation about this most disturbing aspect of HDAA.  As an out-of-town Blues fan, it is rare that we get to see them on national TV.  After all, the Blues/Blackhawks rivalry is a great rivalry, and as Laura duly noted there were quite a few US born players on both the Blackhawks and Blues teams.  So why not give  the Blues/Blackhawks game more national coverage instead of giving it mainly regional coverage?

This got me to thinking...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

FDIC Bank Closings -- Tableau Demo for Work

Some of the staff where I work are interested in a demo of Tableau.  Basically they want to know what it is, how does it work, and how we are using it.  So I downloaded the FDIC Failed Banks list from and used this data set to show them how easy it is to create a quick interactive data visualization that can be embedded into a blog post.  I actually made this right in front of them as part of the demo.  It took about 10 minutes max.

Friday, February 3, 2012

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

I love that quote from Wayne Gretzky even though it is obvious and has become a bit cliche'.

The St. Louis Blues had a little bit of extra time off after the All-Star game.  Tonight is their first game since the break.  I wanted to publish one more data viz before they started back up again.  After that, I will probably wait till the end of the season to publish any additional hockey data visualizations.

This visualization is taking a look at their goal scoring (or as many Blues' fans would say -- their lack of goal scoring).  They need to score more goals if they want to remain competitive for the remainder of the season and (hopefully) the playoffs.  So I put together something that shows who has the best goal percentage, goals per game, which players need to improve their goal scoring ability, and which players need to shoot the puck more!

Monday, January 30, 2012

St. Louis Blues Players Performance at the All-Star Break

 The NHL All-Star break is the perfect time to get caught up on player stats and to take a look at their performance during the first half of the season.  I haven't published anything for a while and I've been dying to do a hockey viz.  So I took advantage of the empty schedule, scraped the data, and here are the results.