Monday, December 23, 2013

Tableau #3minwin

I created an entry for the Tableau #3minwin competition.  I built this dashboard in under 3 minutes using NFL weather data (and some data from Pro-Football-Reference) and I've included the youtube video to prove it.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nuclear Power's Effect On Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Some may know this, but my undergrad was actually in Nuclear Engineering.  While I do not necessarily practice it day to day (as I'm sure most people say of their undergrad education), I certainly walked away with a real passion for the benefits of nuclear energy.  It has the ability to generate electricity on the hundred megawatt or even gigawatt level (on par or better than existing fossil fuel plants), produces no carbon dioxide, and properly maintained plants produce no additional radiation to the surrounding area, among many other benefits.

Inspired by +Hans Rosling (the +Tableau Software TCC14 keynote speaker) and the work at Gapminder, I built a dashboard that tells the story of how countries that embrace nuclear energy (especially France) have seen a reduction in their carbon dioxide emissions, while countries that have little or no nuclear presence are seeing large increases in their carbon dioxide emissions.  

If you would like to learn more about nuclear power, there was also a documentary that was shown on CNN called Pandora's Promise, which interviews well known environmentalists that now support nuclear energy and investigates nuclear power from a variety of different angles.

Enjoy and feel free to comment below.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Single Pixel (Or Hide) Can Save Your Tableau Viz

UPDATE: After posting this in the Tableau Tips and Tricks community, +Shawn Wallwork pointed out an alternative to my solution that is built right into Tableau.  It was a lesson for me, so I wanted to share it here as well.

While working on my Mike Ditka dashboard (here and on Tableau Public), I had an interesting idea for 'Da Coach' viz: While showing a timeline of a particular coaches season records over time, I would also indicate if the coach had won a Super Bowl that year.

I had found a great site that had images of the Super Bowl logos and used a Chrome extension to download all of the them.  After making a shapes folder for the Super Bowl images in my Tableau Repository, I mapping the images to the coach-season combination that was appropriate.  This layered on top of a line chart started to become.... close, yet so far away
not what I was hoping for.  There were far more 'Null' values than images to display, and if I made the sizing smaller, the Super Bowl logos would not show up.

NEW METHOD: Tableau builds in a way to accomplish hiding the unwanted shapes.  

First, select (left click) the shape you want to hide.  This is CRITICAL because jumping this step will not get you the menu options you want.

Second, right click on the object you want to hide and check 'Hide'
REMEMBER: You will only see this option if you select the object to hide first!

If you ever need to see the data that you have hidden, you can select the drop down of the shape card, and select 'Show Hidden Data'

This accomplishes the same task as the original method, while also providing some additional space in the Viz.  But be sure to remember what you've hidden so you don't loose track of your data. 

ORIGINAL METHOD: Epiphany: what if I made the image for 'Null' values a single pixel?  That way, it will be so small it won't be seen as an image, and even if I need to make it bigger, it still will not be noticed.  
Sure enough, a website hosts an image of a transparent single pixel.  After downloading the image and saving it to my shapes folder, it was easy enough to assign: just hovering over they general area Tableau gave me a easy-to-select box.
Selecting a transparent single pixel inside of Tableau
Worksheet updated!

In the end this gave me the worksheet I was hoping for all along.  Maybe this will help you too in your next viz!  Take care.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How Does Your Favorite NFL Team Spend Its Salary Cap?

NFL Teams are allotted a certain amount of money every year to spend on its players; that money is referred to as the salary cap.  A teams spends its salary cap on players base salaries, various bonuses, severed contracts, practice squad players, and penalties to the team.  Each team has to weigh the existing contracts with valued positions and potential contract extensions before hiring and releasing players.  

Use the visualization below to better understand how your favorite NFL spends its salary cap.  You can select a team, a position, or a player to learn more about the respective team expenses.  

Enjoy and feel free to comment below.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Viz of the Day!

Today I was very honored to find out I had won Tableau Public's Viz of the Day, a daily selection of cool dashboards built and hosted on Tableau Public. I am very excited to get the Mike Ditka dashboard up and in front of people, showing the impact of a Chicago Bears legend.

I even got to go to the game last night to watch his number get retired at the game with my dad!  It was bitterly cold, but a fantastic 45-28 win over the Cowboys.

My Dad and I at the Bears-Cowboys game, 12/9/2013. Ditka's number was retired at halftime.

Thank you everyone who liked and shared the viz.  It has been a crazy couple of days, but very exciting.  Take care.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mike Ditka: A Look Back On A Chicago Bears Legend

With the latest round of commercials of the Super-fans raving about "Dit-ka" and the seemingly never ending stream of advertisements with his face on it, it can be easy to forget how much of a dominant force Mike Ditka was when he was on the field: both revolutionizing playing the Tight End position and coaching one of the most well know Super Bowl teams in the history of the NFL, the 1985 Chicago Bears.

Ditka's triumphs have stood the test of time, and he will be recognized of that on Monday December 9th, when the Chicago Bears organization will retire #89 in honor of his lasting achievements in football.  

While no one post/article/interview can ever quite capture what Mike Ditka meant to the Chicago Bears and the NFL, I have taken an attempt to showcase some of what he has accomplished and how it is still competitive with modern day talents.

To a Chicago Bears legend from a life-long Chicago Bears fan: Thank you!

Friday, December 6, 2013

How Does Your Favorite NFL Team Spend Its Salary Cap, Part 2

With the original salary cap posts, fans could look at how their favorite team spent its salary cap across different positions.  In Part 2, fans can see how the spend of their team compares to other teams for specific positions.  For instance, the Atlanta Falcons are spending more money on 1 quarterback (Matt Ryan) than the Minnesota Vikings are spending on 3 quarterbacks (Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder, and Josh Freeman), though both are 3 win teams.

The original spend dashboard is also included on a separate tab if you want to go back and check the original data.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dreamforce Conference Visualized

Dreamforce is a the new product announcement from Salesforce and is being announced as of this moment in San Francisco.  To help understand what is being tweeted out at the conference, I have visualized some of the data being tweeted out (with the help of Nelson Davis on data gathering) and organized it so you can see the different types of languages people are tweeting in about Dreamforce.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Football Outsiders DVOA Visualized

Football Outsiders DVOA Visualized

UPDATE: The visualization has been updated for Week 16.

Football Outsiders is a website dedicated to statistically understanding how different football teams perform when adjusted for the strength of their opponents.  The specifics of DVOA can be found on their site, but in general, the stat shows how a team will perform on each down and whether they will be able to move the ball progressively down the field (or stop the ball on defense).  A positive DVOA is better than a negative DVOA, except on defense where a negative DVOA is better than positive.  

However, a team's performance is not always reflected in their record.  A team (Team A) with few losses may have that record because they are winning close games and playing weak opponents.  On the other hand, a different team (Team B) that has a worse record may have faced tougher opponents but lost close games, but are winning big when they do win.  In this case Team B would probably have a better DVOA than Team A, and would be more likely to beat Team A in a game.

I have taken that data that Football Outsiders has prepared and visualized it in Tableau Public, which allows users to interact with the data to find out more information about their team.  Feel free to select your favorite team and learn more about their performance.