Why Vizioneer?

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
The "Vizioneer" comes from mashing two words that have shaped my world for most of my adult life - Engineer and [data] Visualizations (or Vizes to those who know what's up). Graduating from first from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, followed by Georgia Tech with my Bachelors and Masters in Civil Engineering, all of which taught me to think through anything and everything - problem solving, "engineering" solutions, teaching to the "ah ha" moments - is what I love to do. In 2010 that investigative, engineering mindset intersected a job change and a plunge into the world of Data Analysis. In the search for the next great thing I stumbled on to a data visualization and dashboarding product called Tableau software and things just took off. So now I guess you could call me that engineer with the sweet data visualizations - or just "The Vizioneer" :)

In 2013, I joined the incredible team at Slalom, focusing on Tableau and it's been an amazing experience. Recently in 2014, I was honored and humbled to receive Tableau's highest recognition of being named a Tableau Zen Master. Follow along to see what happens next :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who Really Won the "Big Game"?

Happy February Everybody!

I have three cool, quick things to share with y'all today and I hope you guys enjoy.

The first thing is this super awesome fun viz I did on the Super Bowl "Big Game" commercials.  It's an idea I got in my head about a month ago and I love the way it turned out.  Knowing that each year the amount being paid for a 30 second ad is some crazy number, but when the scoreboard clock hits 00:00 at the end of the game, what did that total up to - no one seems to talk about that.  And it's a lot of money, as I'm sure you can see below.  Of course the fun part of the whole thing are these awesome commercials that are supposed to be the best of the best from the world of marketing, so you can actually watch every single one of them right here in the viz (even make them full screen if you want).

Check out the viz below! 
So here's the second fun thing - how do I make something like this?  This is all about how do I get an idea from my head to become a viz on the screen, and for me, I've learned a big important middle step - The Sketch.

It takes about 10 minutes, and I always do it in pencil, but it really allows you to quickly take an idea and see it.  And when you can see, you can improve it (which is something I know you believe because you do data visualization).

So here's the sketch I did for this viz.  It's cool to see the design work out this well in reality.  If you're not currently doing a little bit of pre-viz design, you should consider giving it a shot.  I've found that it actually makes the project take less total time on average, because you already have a vision of where you're heading.

The last thing (but first in my heart :) is a personal note that Baby Davis #2 was born a week and a half ago.  Mama and Baby are doing great and we are incredibly blessed with how smoothly everything went.

I want to thank the Tableau Community who sent lovely congratulatory tweets from all across the world.  It was really cool and I was very touched.  And don't be surprised if you see a Baby Davis viz coming soon.

If you have a comment, I'd love to hear it.  Thanks for checking it out!



  1. Congrats on the baby. I just sent this to my team with the following notes:

    //For all the pomp of the halftime show, it generates relatively little revenue vis a vis the rest of the game, because it's the longest stretch without a commercial--though it's generating brand recognition, it's not generating actual revenue.

    I'm surprised at the steep increases in revenue generated in the later parts of the game, especially middle fourth quarter. I suppose that's a hedge on it being a good game, so for this year, those people "lost" in the sense they spent a lot for a diminishing audience. If it had been a barn burner that's a great spend.

    Interesting to see what flow of game means. The fewer breaks, the more clustered the commercials get in real time, meaning what you bought maybe gets diluted by being "around" so many other ads. Compare for example, the steadiness of the third quarter commercial interruptions compared to the second quarter, in which there was a long time without a break.

    Overall it makes you realize that super bowl ad spend is even more of a crap shoot than "was it a good ad" -- external forces play a big part in when it airs and how it's received and by how many people.//


    1. Scott -
      I love the analysis you provided, and you make some really great points. Buying Fourth Quarter ads really is a hedged bet on a good game. It would be interesting to see the Nielsen Ratings over the course of the game and see how varied the viewership was. Come to think of it that would make for a really great viz.... Thanks for passing it along and it sounds like you guys got some great insights from it! Many thanks!

    2. Nelson,

      For some of the "Big Game" clunkers of the 90's and early 2000's (Ravens-Giants, Bucs-Raiders, etc.), most of us wouldn't pay attention during the game in the second half. We would go play pool, play ping pong, or get more food from the kitchen, but we would make sure to come back in time to catch the next round of commercials. It was like the poor quality of the game made the commercials more important from an overall entertainment standpoint for the evening. I'm not sure if this transcends to other families or groups of friends, but it may help counteract the people that stop watching altogether.

      Love the viz.


    3. ABell -
      Very interesting point sir, and I was actually reading some data that supports the fact that many people were doing the same thing. Even though the game was a blowout, viewership only decreased about 7% off the highs late in the second half which was surprising to me. I thought the decrease would have been much higher, but I think the reason for the limited decrease is exactly what you're taking about here - People leaving the game on, not to watch the game, but rather waiting for the commercials. The tweets certainly seem to reflect that....

      Thanks man!

  2. Great Job on the Viz of the Day!

    1. Thanks so much Amy! It's been a cool project for sure! Many thanks!

  3. Great Viz - interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing. And congrats on the baby!

    1. Thanks so much Ruth - lots of great things going on right now (baby included)! Thanks for posting!

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