Visualizing Baseball Data

Welcome to the Visual-Baseball Project, where I merge historical baseball data with the latest in data visualization approaches. Check out some of my work by clicking on the Portfolio menu link or browse the blog to see what I'm working on at the moment.

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MLB Batter Dashboard in Tableau Public

Tableau has revolutionized visual analysis for many users by providing a tool that makes it easy to create exceptional visualizations without the need to write code. For some, Tableau Desktop has been a godsend to rescue them from the challenges of creating meaningful charts using Excel, Cognos, SAS, or any number of other tools. For others, Tableau Public has provided an opportunity to enter the world of visualization. In my case, I use one at work and the other for my side projects, one of which I’ll introduce here. I’ve long worked with major league baseball data provided by either Retrosheet, Baseball-Databank, or Sean Lahman, and thought Tableau Public could help me to create some fascinating dashboards for users to navigate. Baseball visualization is a relatively untapped area, and one where I expect to spend more time in 2015. In the meantime, I have a prototype to share via the Tableau Public site, as seen here: The full dashboard can be found here: https://public.tableausoftware.com/views/MLBBatters1980sDashboard-WIP/RankingsDashboard?:showVizHome=no#1 This dashboard allows you to filter by team, batter type (left or right handed or switch hitter), league, season, or age (as of July 1st each season). In addition, filters can be set based on the number of games played at a given position. Multiple filters can be combined to provide a variety of results across 15 offensive categories. Have fun with it, and let me know what you think. More will be coming – some of it can be seen currently on Tableau Public, with… Read more →

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CartoDB MLB Birthplace Map

Finally, thanks to the brilliance of the CartoDB platform and abetted by the beautiful Stamen Design watercolors theme, I have a map that tracks the debut of thousands of major league ballplayers from 1871 to 2013 (2014 data will be… Read more →

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Data Visualization, Aesthetics and Intuition

As I worked through a just completed project chronicling the diverse musical career of Neil Young, some valuable (if unintended) insights were reinforced once more. I work on a regular basis with a variety of large datasets that require analysis,… Read more →

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Network Data Adventures with Gephi

Posting to the blog has become a luxury recently, what with a summer full of youth baseball, some organizational changes at work, summer home projects, and of course the upcoming Gephi book. I’ve learned that one has to be especially… Read more →

Visual-Baseball Site Refresh

This one wasn’t in the plan, at least not so quickly, but I decided to go ahead and do a site update with a new theme. The new layout has a little more visual style, particularly on the landing page,… Read more →

Mastering Gephi Book Update

Lest anyone think of me as a full-time author, rest assured that the likes of J.K. Rowling are not trembling in fear. Even if I had the ability to conjure up creative plots, I type too damn slow to make… Read more →

Day 3 Eyeo Festival Recap

Well, it’s come and gone again, like a fleeting annual romance, a la Same Time Next Year, the Alan Alda & Ellen Burstyn feature about a couple that meets for a single weekend once a year. This is how I… Read more →

Eyeo Festival Day 2 Recap

Writing this from the charming confines of the Bull Run coffee shop on Lynvale, nestled in a mostly residential part of South Minneapolis, and reflecting on another great day at the 2014 Eyeo Festival over a real deal croissant and… Read more →

More Eyeo Festival Mind Expansion

As expected, the first full day at the 2014 Eyeo Festival was mind blowing, and what was interesting is that some of it came from unanticipated sources. While I knew that Mike Bostock, Nicholas Felton, et al would provide interesting… Read more →