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How the English Premier League Will Help You Tell Better Business Stories

Chris Garcia
Director of Marketing

The 2017 English Premier League (EPL) season is six matches in. Crystal Palace FC is struggling. Manchester City FC has won five straight, with Manchester United FC and Chelsea FC in hot pursuit. As always, there are tons of storylines this season. The same can be said for any popular sport. However, playing fields aren’t the only part of life in which stories have an important role.

In the business world, we also have stories. We tell these stories every day in our presentations, emails, and other communications. One essential tool to make our stories more meaningful is data visualization. For example, when we were children, the books we read had pictures. As adults, adding a drawing, chart, or other visual aid, allows for better understanding.

As an Oracle employee and fútbol lover, I have the pleasure of working on this piece and explaining how data visualization can help you tell better business stories. The EPL is my focus today. La Liga, Bundesliga, MLS, Serie A, and Ligue 1 will be the focus in future posts. Let’s start with finding data. I Googled “English Premier League stats” and found the Footystats website. From this site, I “copied and pasted” the data I wanted. You can download the spreadsheet here.

Next, I imported my work into Oracle Data Visualization and began to visualize specific stats around the EPL season. Below are my findings.

This radar bar graph shows “total team points” along with “goals for” in the darker, wider colors. This type of graph is useful when trying to show an association between two or more numbers. In this case, there is a strong relationship between team points and the number of goals scored. However, viewing data in this manner also identifies teams that may not have a lot of team points but still score a good amount of goals (Leicester City FC). Conversely, this data visualization also shows teams that have a healthy amount of points without scoring a ton of goals (Huddersfield Town FC, Newcastle United FC and Burnley FC).

This is the value of using data visualization to tell stories - this technology makes it easier to find the story behind the story.

Next, let’s take a look at the relationship between the number of “clean sheets” and “failed to score”.

Clean sheets occur when a team doesn’t allow their opponent to score. More than 80 percent of the time, Manchester United FC will keep the opposing team out of the goal. Also, the lighter colors identify teams that rarely fail to score. Again, look at Manchester United FC. Their ability to get goals and not allow their opponents to score is a powerful combination and is a big reason this team consistently performs at a high level. Also…look at the differences between Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Southampton FC, Swansea City AFC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Watford FC and West Bromwich Albion FC. They all have the same percentage of clean sheets but Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chelsea FC are the most likely to score. This implies that these teams play hard and can never be counted out of any match.

Again, this is why data visualization is so useful. Finding hidden gems in your data that otherwise may not have been discovered and therefore - making your stories more relevant.

Want to see an exciting match? Let’s take a look at the teams with the most points and which teams tend to play in higher scoring matches.

This graph shows team points. Also, the darker, thicker bars show the teams that tend to participate in higher scoring matches. It stands to reason that Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC all have a respectable number of team points and also tend be in higher scoring matches because well…they score a ton of goals. But notice that West Ham United FC and AFC Bournemouth also participate in high-scoring matches…but for the wrong reason! Never the less – if you want to see lots of goals, these are the teams to check out. This is especially true if one of the higher ranked teams play one of the teams that allow a lot of goals. Perfect for the new EPL viewer!

This is the value of data visualization. It helps tell the stories behind the story by making it easier to find the hidden gems in your data. Oracle Data Visualization tools make your information more useful than ever.

If you like what you see, visit www.oracle.com/goto/datavisualization to learn more about Oracle Data Visualization and get your free trial.

If you already have Oracle Data Visualization, here is the "dva" file for this analysis. The password is "EPL" (without quotes), all uppercase.

Also, for current Oracle Data Visualization customers, be sure to visit the new Oracle Analytics Library and download sample files to take your analytics to a new level.

Lastly, don’t take our word for it, see what analysts are saying about Oracle Analytics Cloud here.


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