MLS Goal of the Year Dashboard

I’ve also made an alternate version of the following chalkboard sized for use on an ipad. Its extra filters and larger circles makes it a little easier to use on smaller touchscreens, too.

Last month’s OptaPro Analytics Forum was built around analyses of soccer data that were all quite thought-provoking. Opta’s presentation of their professional tool, VideoHub Elite, was just as intriguing as some of the research, though. As a service to their partner clubs, they provide essentially an unbound version of their MLS Chalkboards. You can use filters to see every action a player of your choosing performed in any match which Opta collected data for.

Clubs who want to see Lionel Messi’s greatest hits can simply filter to his name, then goals, assists, dribbles, or any other action type, then click event locations to get a reel of brilliance. The MLS nerd in me swung the other direction entirely, and had the Opta rep pull up Fabian Castillo’s plethora of unsuccessful dribbles, and witnessed the young Colombian failing to get past an opponent while less than 30 yards from his own keeper.

I was thoroughly impressed (with the tool, not Castillo’s decision-making), but for awhile my only lingering thought about it was jealousy of club analysts who get to use VideoHub Elite every day. But it struck me recently that I could build a smaller-scale version in Tableau. Thanks to the MLS website on embed codes for their 2013 Goal of the Year nominees, and a huge assist from Opta on shot locations and other data for these 64 tallies, I was able to produce the following:

By embedding video within the dashboard, this goes beyond the standard visualization options in Tableau, but that’s part of the beauty of this software. If you get an idea, just google “___ in Tableau,” and often you will find someone has a way to make it work. In my case “embed video in Tableau” yielded DataRemixed’s guide to embedding YouTube videos. I tried to push this a bit by embedding some videos from, but please let me know if only the YouTube videos work for you. I can probably find Youtube alternative in most cases.

The rest of this dashboard came from applications of scatterplots, filters, and background images that I have employed before. At some point I may walk through my process of building this dashboard step by step. Let me know if you would find that interesting.

I am entering this Dashboard, my visual league tables, and some of my previous work in Tableau’s Elite 8 Sports Viz Contest. If one of them becomes a finalist I will definitely write a post next week re-presenting that viz, and possibly enhancing it in some way.

3 thoughts on “MLS Goal of the Year Dashboard

  1. Pingback: Why I Use Tableau, and a Disappearing Instructions Trick for Dashboarding | Stat Hunting

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