Dashboard Week Day 1: NBA Coach KPIs

by Elena Caric

First challenge-Getting the Data

As the data was not provided we must get it online and we need to focus only on the data that each one of us needs. I needed to find out how different teams were doing within a season and show what I believe would be relevant KPIs a Coach would be interested in. So, I needed data of all scores, shoots, turnovers, rebounds etc for every team within a season. After some aimlessly snooping around online for an API I was unable to find any that had the data I needed. There was the player and team information overall but not for a season, or at least I wasn’t able to locate one it the brief time I was able to spend on this task. I found exactly what I needed in a table I brought in directly with Google Sheets. After getting the data, I ended up with two CSVs I needed to quickly clean up with Alteryx.

Preparing the data with Alteryx

Quickly is not the best word to describe the time I actually spent on this as I had an enormous number of columns and all labeled with an alien abbreviation. I had to find out what each abbreviation means, rename my columns and filter out all the ones I would not be using. After about half an hour of this, I had my data prepared I was ready to open it up with Tableau and start analyzing.

Tableau analysis

After some exploratory analysis, I was more familiar with the data I was going to work with. For me, this method works best as it helps me know where to look for and what I’ll be able to do with my data. I had all my teams sorted and I picked up 5 main KPIs to focus on: Turnovers, Steals, Assists, Rebounds and Free Throws. I would show these on a single bar per team and compare it to the average of all the teams in the season. For this, I wrote a calculation to show the average because the moment one team was selected I would lose the average I dragged in from the Analytics Pane.

Next, I had another data set showing each loss and victory every team had in each month within 2016/17 season. Naturally, I went with a line graph showing one line for wins and 1 for losses. From this chart, the user can filter out the data and focus on the specific month and see the KPIs for that month.

I wanted the logos to change as a team was selected meaning I had to go and get an image for every team, save them in a special folder in My Tableau Repository under Shapes. Then I needed to cry my eyes out trying to assign each team the corresponding logo.

Putting everything together

Here is a link to my finished dashboard on Tableau Public: https://public.tableau.com/shared/RB2DF36S9?:display_count=yes

I would go for a single dashboard that announce the NBA data and then allow the user to pick teams from a drop-down filter. After a team is selected every chart below the filter would change to show the appropriate data, as well as the image and title changing along. Placing everything on a dashboard is not difficult but it can be time-consuming as everything needs to go into a container and align properly. I had decided to go with a tiled layout.

The colours in my dashboard came from the NBA colours of blue, red and white which was easy and quick to set up along all my workbooks. There is also the option to go with each teams’ colours but as it’s a marathon week I didn’t have 812839 hours to spare.

All in all, my first Dashboard week project ended up rather well as I was able to put everything together as I wanted and present my work tomorrow morning.