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.

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, interpretation, and ultimately visualization and presentation. Often, these goals are not easily reconciled, which leads to unsatisfactory results across one or more of these factors. As much as we as analysts need to depict the data accurately and meaningfully, if we don’t do so with an attractive visual approach we risk not having our message get communicated at all. Merely presenting our data in a table may technically get the job done, but is also likely to bore the reader to tears while simultaneously failing to deliver the key messages. At the other extreme, we can pull out individual bits of the data and spend our time creating flashy infographics that may capture attention but fail to represent the data in its proper context. All flash, no substance. Neither approach is terribly effective. At the same time, we may present all of the information using a reasonable visual approach that preserves the integrity of the data while still falling short of creating a fulfilling user experience. This is what I recently experienced with the Neil Young project, as I’ll detail below. After spending a few days getting the data from the AllMusic site into Excel, and eventually as node and edge files into Gephi, it was finally time to create… Read more →

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 →

First Night at Eyeo Festival 2014

What a great first night at the 2014 Eyeo Festival, as things kicked off in grand style at the post-apocalyptic Aria, where the beer was flowing while old acquaintances were renewed and new relationships were made. The level of commitment… Read more →

Off to the 2014 Eyeo Festival

Once again, I am blessed to be heading back to the Eyeo Festival in beautiful Minneapolis, my third consecutive year attending. My excitement has been a bit more measured this time around, although the last few days have been filled… Read more →

Mapping is Cool

It’s been a couple years since I last spent considerable time on mapping aka spatial visualization. Now, courtesy of an interesting online course through Coursera, I’m engaging with it again, and rediscovering how cool mapping can be. This has also… Read more →