Hello there everyone!
Thanks to everyone for the great feedback on my recent Pinball viz. Was a lot of fun doing it, and glad it brought back some youthful memories for a number of people. I wasn’t intending to produce another viz so soon, but this one is fairly timely.
See I love football. I mean LOVE it. For some reason I’m still playing every week in the Surrey Sunday leagues, my 21st season. The old bones creak a bit these days and I’m not as quick as I once was, but the enjoyment is still there. So like many I watched with interest as the recent World Footballer of the Year awards were announced. Sorry I’d better say the FIFA World Footballer of the Year awards in case Mr Blatter is watching.
The actual results weren’t too much of a surprise. Ronaldo, Messi & Ribery making up the top 3. But I wanted to see how those votes broke down and see if I could pull out any trends using Tableau. Especially as there has been much chat about whether these votes are a bit of a farce or otherwise.
And here it is!
A viz of all the votes, showing geographical distribution, points breakdown per player and voter type (coach, captain or media).
So how did I do this?
Data was pretty easy to get hold of. In a rare display of process transparency FIFA publish it here. Each voter names their top 3 players from a short list with 5 points given for first place, 3 for second and one point for third. Total points wins the trophy. Simple.
Well sort of simple. See this format has the player name as a measure, I want it as a dimension. Copying this data into Excel for analysis wasn’t a goer, it just didn’t seem to be manageable with Tableau in that format.
So this gave me the chance to try out this Excel Tableau “data reshaper”. I’ve heard other people talk about it but never used it myself. Simple enough to install and bingo – worked first time.
2. Viz design
I really wanted this viz to show the following
- Geographical distribution of votes
- Is there a trend of votes between the 3 voter types
- Any oddities in voting?
With that I made the focus of the viz a map with pies. Now I know this looks a bit cluttered when all the marks are visible, but it does seem to work when the set is restricted with filters or even highlights.
The player filter allows me to easily see where each player’s points came from. The points calculation was done with a simple calculated field to assign either 5, 3 or 1 point to each player’s SUM(Number of Records).
I like highlight tables so I thought I’d provide a full points breakdown. This is more interesting when combined with a filter.
Regarding the regional grouping, that was manually done. Could have split it into ‘official’ FIFA regions I suppose but didn’t have time.
3. The Finished Product
What’s this telling me?
There are a few interesting trends that this viz allows me to infer.
First off, although Ronaldo won the award, you can see that he got a large portion of his votes from captains and coaches. When I select media as the filter then you can see that Ribery easily won the vote of media representatives, except in the Americas region – kind of expected given that Messi is Argentinian. That’s an interesting finding as FIFA controversially extended the voting deadline to allow Ronaldo’s awesome performance against Sweden to be considered, a move that many felt cost Ribery the award. Ronaldo only topped the vote for one region, Europe.
It’s also easy to see that there was a lot of national favouritism. I.e. assigning points to the player of your own nationality even thought they are clearly not one of the favourites. Examples include – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gareth Bale, Yaya Toure, Radamel Falcao, Andrea Pirlo, Robert Lewandowski & Luis Suarez – all of whom received significant points from their home nations.
Lotta love for Robin van Persie in the Carribean (see left).
It was also interesting to see that neither Ronaldo nor Messi voted each other in their top 3. Understandable I suppose, if a little childish.
I can also see a surprising amount of countries that didn’t bother to send in all their votes. I’m looking at YOU Turkmenistan.
So this voting does seem a little contrived and a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest at times. Clear favouritism & agendas at play.
Ok that’s it. As always feedback appreciated. And I know it’s not perfect, so don’t take it too seriously.
“FIFA – For the game. For the world.” – Yeah whatever Sepp.