Contextual Scatter Plots

I know I mentioned that I would review the coverage of the Orlando shootings this week in more depth than I did on Monday. But, allow me an interruption for a nice little piece that I wanted to get to last week. If anything, it’s far less serious.

Scatter plot
Scatter plot

My apologies for my focus of late on small graphics, but I really think they are underappreciated component of providing context to written analysis. And this piece from FiveThirtyEight about the point scoring accompanies some good analysis that actually made some sense to this non-basketball fan.

Note the two finals-playing teams are highlighted—and importantly how the text is cleared with interrupted chart lines, a very nice touch—while other teams remain visible but unidentified for context.

Credit for the piece goes to Neil Paine.

Basketball Finals

So the basketball finals begin tonight with the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Golden State Warriors. This is also the part of the post where I fully admit I know almost nothing about basketball. I did, however, catch this so-labelled infographic from ESPN contrasting the two teams.

Point differential
Point differential

What I appreciate at this piece is that ESPN labelled it an infographics. And while the data might be at times light, this is more a data-rich experience than most infographics these days. Additionally the design degrades fairly nicely as your browser reduces in size.

The chart formats themselves are not too over-the-top (that seemed like a decent basketball pun when I typed it out) with bars, line, and scatter plots. Player illustrations accent the piece, but do not convey information as data-encoded variables. I quibble with the rounded bar charts for the section on each team’s construction, but the section itself is fascinating.

I might not know most of the metrics’ definitions, but I did not mind reading through the piece.

Go Red Sox.

Credit for the piece goes to Luke Knox and Cun Shi.

Nova Beats the Buzzer

As you may know, while I presently live in Chicago, I hail from Philadelphia. I grew up there and most of my best mates did too. And some of them attended a small school called Villanova. And as you may know, their men’s basketball programme just won the national championship in dramatic fashion. So today’s post shares with you a graphic from the Wall Street Journal that explains how Villanova won the game in the final few seconds.

The final shot won it all
The final shot won it all

Credit for the piece goes to the Wall Street Journal graphics department.

LeBron James in the NBA Finals

I really do not know much about basketball. I did not realise that the finals had been going on. But, rest assured, they were. The Washington Post looked at whether or not LeBron James had the best finals match performances since 1985. It turns out, not so much. For those of you from the Chicago area, you may instead take solace that one of those guys from that Chicago team represents well.

The top five performances since 1985
The top five performances since 1985

Credit for the piece goes to Todd Lindeman and Richard Johnson.

Basketball Data Visualisation

I really am only a one sport kind of guy. Basketball is not that sport. However, similar to baseball, it is a sport that plays many games and has many in-game actions, which allows for data collection and analysis. This Washington Post piece looks at the season for some player named Bradley Beal. Ask me to interpret the data, and that’s a different story. But, I am sure it will make sense to you basketball fans out there.

Whence good and bad shots came
Whence good and bad shots came

Credit for the piece goes to Todd Lindeman and Lazaro Gamio.

The 76ers Are a Terrible Basketball Team

The Philadelphia 76ers are a terrible basketball team. FiveThirtyEight details the deficiencies of the team in this small table. Icons represent characteristics that can be either positive or negative. They are then placed within the table to quickly show how awful the team is. My favourite is the icon for poor player.

Just terrible
Just terrible

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.

March Madness Continues

I imagined that I would be finished with posts about this March Madness thing. However, the New Yorker released its own bracket system that interested me—again, with the giant caveat that I know nothing about basketball.

To be an interactive bracket, clearly the piece needs to function as a means of following results. However, the New Yorker offers additional layers as part of the graphic: the programme’s expenses, revenues, and geographical location. Here is the expected bracket of actual results.

Current and actual results
Current and actual results

But the first thing I realised when looking at the map is that none of the groupings make any sense. How are schools from within the same city all in separate regions?

How is LaSalle in North Philly in the West?
How is LaSalle in North Philly in the West?

Second, the list shows you the schools ranked, again by either expenses or revenues. The encouraging thing is when you compare this to the results thus far, teams that spend very little money (comparatively) can defeat the big spenders, e.g. Florida Gulf Coast defeated Georgetown.

Show me the money! (At least who's spending it.)
Show me the money! (At least who's spending it.)

And that point of course proves that the most interesting view, the money bracket, does not necessarily hold true. Those teams that spend the most will not necessarily be victorious.

The bracket, if the team spending the most money won each game
The bracket, if the team spending the most money won each game

Credit for the piece goes to the New Yorker.

March Madness

It’s March Madness. And I know not a thing about basketball. But I do know a thing (maybe even two) about infographics and data visualization. I also that Nate Silver pretty much rocks. So when he releases odds for different teams to progress throughout this year’s tournament, you basketball/infographic/data viz-loving folks should pay attention.

The 538 Forecast Bracket
The 538 Forecast Bracket

I of course had to go with Villanova. If only because I have to represent the Main Line. I mean really, it was down to Nova or Temple, which do you think I would pick?

Credit for the piece goes to Nate Silver (definitely for the data, not so sure for the design/interaction/build of the piece).