Directed ResearchRob Bratney • Tom Klinkowstein
The ProblemBaseball statistics are at the heart of understanding thegame of baseball, but the way in which they are currentlypresented to a broadcast television audience createunnecessary barriers to widespread comprehension.What can Design do to create a more less prohibitiveenvironment, and make mass consumption of baseballstatistics easier?
The HypothesisThis thesis presents the hypothesis that a system of simple,interactive data-visualizations that use shape, size, and color torepresent some of major league baseball’s most basic statisticalmeasurements could be more effective at representing detailedinformation to a wider broadcast television audience than thecurrent system of numbers and acronyms.The statistical metrics that are currently presented during televisionbroadcasts rely heavily on numerical representations, and whilethese traditional numbers are valuable, they can only be understoodby a limited few. Adding visual representations to the environmentof baseball statistics may help lower the current learning curve andmake baseball easier for more people to understand.
The Research OutlineI. OverviewWhat are baseball statistics, and how are they useful? • Brief history of important people and events, etc. • Commonly-used statistics today, traditionally • Definition of several specific metrics, to be referenced throughout
II. The Problem & HypothesisIII. Analytical Statistics Companies Today and TheirProprietary Software/Visuals Introduction to today’s baseball statistics landscape 1. Sportvision PITCHf/x, HITf/x, FIELDf/x, COMMANDf/x, Pitch Location & Stats, Virtual Advertising, MLB At-Bat app 2. STATS X-Info 3. Baseball Info Solutions Defensive Runs Saved
IV. Current Statistical Visualizations Used/Developed byStatisticians & DesignersData-visualization tools by statisticians • Gapminder Chart • Chord Chart • Milestones in the History of Statistical Graphics • Visualization and Data Mining Software By Designers Nicholas Felton’s Annual Report Flip Flop Fly Ball by Craig Robinson Information Graphics by Sandra Rendgen
III. Applying the Visualizations Used By StatisticsCommunity to Baseball StatisticsIV. Using What Was Learned to Create Our Own, BetterSolutions • Recontructing, then outlining visually-based approach • Interactive graphic displays that show and tell • Applying new approach to example pool of raw data and in television broadcast • Applying new system to television broadcast
V. Projections of Implementations for New Tool • In Major League offices • Online, fan sites • Apps & proprietary software • Television BroadcastsV. Conclusion
Resource ListBaseball Stats (Definitions, history, and reference information): • http://www.baseball-reference.com/ • http://www.fangraphs.com/library/ • http://www.baseballprospectus.com/Data Visualization Tools: • Chord Chart • Statistical Graphics Throughout History http://www. datavis.ca/milestones/ • Gapminder • Data Mining and Visualization Software: http://www. kdnuggets.com/software/visualization.html
Infographic Designers • Nicholas Feltron’s Annual Report • Flip Flop Fly Ball by Craig Robison • Information Graphics by Sandra RendgenData Visualizations in Baseball Today STATS, Inc.’s X-Info Sportvision
Books• The Numbers Game: Baseball’s Lifelong Fascination withStatistics by Alan Schwarz. 2005• Moneyball by Michael Lewis. 2003• Baseball Between The Numbers: Why Everything You Know• About The Game Is Wrong by The Baseball ProspectusTeam of Experts. 2007• The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract by BillJames. 2003• The Graphical Player by John Burnson. 2010• Flip Flop Fly Ball by Craig Robison• Information Graphics by Sandra Rendgen