During the final stretch of our regular season we became interested in creating ways to visualize standings, points, and playoff positioning. We came up with 3 visualizations that we felt were an interesting way to look at teams’ performances throughout the season.
The weekly standings graph is a great way to view a team’s performance over the course of an entire season. Tracking the standings position of a team and seeing when they drop below or rise above the playoff line can be an interesting way to analyze a team’s form. New England’s mid-season 8 game losing streak followed by their climb back up the Eastern Conference is a great example of this.
Points Per Game
The second visualization we created was points per game. It helps visualize stretches of games during a season where a team picks up points. Comparing teams’ performances on a game-by-game basis can show how well a team is doing while ignoring games-in-hand, bye weeks, and midweek games that the standings table shows.
Each year as the regular season concludes it is interesting to see how many points a team can acquire in their remaining games. When certain teams have games in hand, viewing the possible points of each team can be an interesting way to visualize the possible outcomes of the remaining games of the season.
With limited screen space we didn’t want to create an entirely degraded performance for mobile viewers. We hadn’t seen any great examples of shrinking such a large visualization down to a mobile format. Providing horizontal scrolling for each graph works well for viewing specific time periods throughout the season.
We will be launching these visualizations with historical season data integrated into the new MLSsoccer.com in January. Let us know what you think!