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May 8, 2013

Was Theo Walcott’s performance for Arsenal driven by motivation for a new contract?


With two matches to go in the EPL season, Arsenal is in a battle for a Champions League spot with Chelsea and Tottenham and Theo Walcott is leading scorer.  He started out the season in great form, then suddenly tapered off immediately after he signed a new deal with the club.

In Arsenal’s last two matches, Theo has scored two great goals very early on in the game, at the 2’ mark against the champions Manchester United and 20 seconds into the most recent game against relegated QPR.  Theo is back in form.

I was interested to see how Theo has impacted Arsenal’s overall performance.  Use the viz below to see how Arsenal performs when Theo does or does not play (Arsenal have a higher winning % when he doesn’t play, though in a small sample size) and when he does or does not score (their winning % increases by 20% when he plays and scores vs. when he plays and doesn’t score).

In other words, Arsenal need Theo to play and score.

Download the data here and the Tableau workbook here.

Done is better then perfect

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I was going through files on my laptop this morning and stumbled upon this picture I had captured back in December.  I can’t recall where I found it, it may have been here, so apologies to the creator in advance for not giving proper credit.

Law of Diminishing Tweaks

Many of the projects I work on are prototypes, which makes this “law” especially true for me.  And this is one of our mantras at Facebook, basically get stuff done. 

Keep this in mind for your next project.  I can guarantee you that any project you’ve ever worked on is not perfect and any project you will ever work on will not be perfect, so don’t waste your time trying to be perfect.  Good enough is perfectly acceptable and helps you move onto to other projects where you can continue to make an impact.  Focus on impact, not perfection.

And yes, I did intentionally use improper grammar in my title.

May 2, 2013

Tableau Tip: Creating a primary group from a secondary data source


Mike Roberts, our Tableau consultant from InterWorks was helping one of our users last week and sent along a great tip for creating a field in your PRIMARY data source with a field in your SECONDARY data source.

Step 1: Add ‘Helper’ sheet and drag desired field from your PRIMARY source on to the ROWS shelf.


Step 2: Add matching field from SECONDARY data source and nest it next to the existing field on the ROWS shelf.


Step 3: Right-click the SECONDARY field on the ROWS shelf and select ‘Create Primary Group’.



NOTE: make sure you check the Include ‘Other’ check box

Step 4: Verify the group is now in your PRIMARY data source.

That’s it! You no longer need to blend or use the SECONDARY SOURCE field.

There is one gotcha to be aware of: If a record is added to the dimension you’re grouping in the primary data source, a new person in this example, you will have to regenerate the group or the new person will automatically get put into the “Other” group.  Creating a primary group does not dynamically update.