Visualizing Kobe Bryant Vs. Jack Taylor

November 26, 2012

Since I’m leading the upcoming D3 workshop for the Chicago Data Visualization Group, I wanted to showcase some features of the javascript tool with a relevant and engaging topic. As a dedicated sports fan, I decided to illustrate the record breaking performance of Jack Taylor of the Grinnell DIII basketball team, the Pioneers. In only his third college basketball game (yes, he is a freshman), Jack took 108 shots to score 138 points in the Pioneers’ win over Faith Baptist Bible College last Tuesday.

For the workshop, I wanted to demonstrate the pros and cons of a variety of graphing methods, so I visualized the data using a couple of different techniques. For a baseline comparison of Jack’s game, I also visualized the lengendary 81 point performance by Kobe Bryant, who is an outspoken supporter of Jack.

Player

Graph

Y-axis

Player

Graph

Y-axis

After playing around with the above visualization for a bit, you get a sense that the stacked area graph does a great job of comparing the player’s contribution of points with that of the rest of the team. When comparing the graphs of the two games, the percentage metric really helps us visualize the difference in Kobe’s vs. Jack’s performances, relative to their teams. Using the total points metric, we can really see the amazingness of Jack’s 138 point effort compared to Kobe’s not too shabby showing.

The stacked bar graph is similar to the stack area except in one major point: the stacked bar graph attempts to discretize the data into time buckets. As it’s displayed above, the stacked bar graph is probably not ideal, although if we were to break the time buckets into quarters or halves, then this method might make more sense.

Finally, the group bar graph is helpful for categorizing information. Here, we can quickly visualize the number of points scored by the player and by the rest of his team, although we still fall victim to the discretization issue.

Thoughts? Come and share them at the workshop at 1871 or leave a comment below!

Contributors to “Visualizing Kobe Bryant Vs. Jack Taylor”

Wondering why there are multiple contributors? At DsA, we work in teams. Even on blog posts, we often work together or ask for others to take a look at the post before we post it. When we do that, the pictures of those that wrote the post are larger than those that edited the post.

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