Thursday, 17 April 2014

BALLCODE: Scanning the 2013-14 NBA Season

The 2013-14 NBA Regular Season finished last night. I'm really excited about the playoffs this year, particularly in the West where there are going to be some epic match ups. But before we get to that I wanted to make a viz which would summarise all the games played into a single view. So here it is:

As you can see I've tried to represent each teams season as an individual bar code representing their performance over the season. Let me know if you think it works, I'm purposefully trying to make some vizzes which are a bit 'non traditional since this blog is a bit of creative space.

And since its Tableau Tips Month on Tableau Public here's a little design tip too.

In order to present each bar code with a single colour for losses, and a team based colour for wins I used the following table calculation:

and then assigned one colour for 'black' and each other team colour separately. (Note each Division is a separate worksheet).

This is a simple version of a technique I use a lot, mixing a colour scheme based on one or more fixed values, and some values that change. This helps with say highlighting an individual item driven by a parameter selection, exactly the same idea.

That's all for now. Enjoy the Playoffs!


  1. Very cool. Gives you a quick sense of when the wheels fell off for Indiana, and equally the strong second half for Toronto. Nice one!

  2. When I made this I thought it was an original idea, turns out Edward Tufte beat me to it ages ago

  3. Peter, I really like the concept to show win/ lose streaks. I have used the same idea to show when you are above/ below target. The color makes a nice touch but isn't needed since you have above/below line as the indicators. Also, there is a lot of "ink;" shortening the line height might make it easier on the eyes.

    1. Hey Lee, thanks, yeah I probably wouldn't do the different colors if it was a different, non sports team, topic.


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