The reason for the infrequent posting is my travel schedule. I spent the past week in Seattle at JSM. This is an annual meeting of statisticians. I presented some work on fantasy football data that I started while writing Numbersense.
For my talk, I wanted to present the ubiquitous league table in a more useful way. The league table is a table of results and relevant statistics, at the team level, in a given sports league, usually ordered by the current winning percentage. Here is an example of ESPN's presentation of the NFL end-of-season league table from 2014.
If you want to know weekly results, you have to scroll to each team's section, and look at this format:
For the graph that I envisioned for the talk, I wanted to show the correlation between Points Scored and winning/losing. Needless to say, the existing format is not satisfactory. This format is especially poor if I want my readers to be able to compare across teams.
The graph that I ended up using is this one:
The teams are sorted by winning percentage. One thing should be pretty clear... the raw Points Scored are only weakly associated with winning percentage. Especially in the middle of the Points distribution, other factors are at play determining if the team wins or loses.
The overlapping dots present a bit of a challenge. I went through a few other drafts before settling on this.
Only one line of dots per team instead of two, and also requiring a legend:
Jittering is a popular solution to separating co-located dots but the effect isn't very pleasing to my eye:
As usual, sketching is one of the most important skills in data visualization; and you'd want to have a tool that makes sketching painless and quick.