Tableau Tunnel #3 — Player dashboards

Here’s how I make them.

Hey everyone, hope you’ve been well!

Once again, greatly appreciate all the support that has come my way from you lot, you’re the best.

So without any further ado, let’s make a player dashboard!

Today our subject is Luke Shaw.

Data prep

So first of all, doing your data prep is very important and ensuring you have your data in the right format is crucial. So let’s go about collecting our data for this one from football reference.

Before I go ahead with explaining this, it is really important for you guys to understand that fbref.com as such does not make any money from the website and therefore they need as much traffic on their site as possible, so whenever you are using their data for even the smallest of vizzes, credit them!

Got it? Good. Let’s get started.

So broadly, here’s what we’ll look at —

  1. Shaw’s passing metrics
  2. Defensive profile — Possession-adjusted interceptions vs tackles
  3. Ball progression
  4. Offensive production.

Let’s download the passing data for Premier League players from fbref.com —

See that little drop-down menu there? That’s where you modify the table and make it suitable for exporting in CSV format.

I usually click on strip mobile formatting and then click on Get table as CSV.

Another important thing to do, before downloading data from any of the tables is to toggle per90 stats.

Now this is how the data will look, it’s highlighted yellow in colour because I’ve used my mouse to drag and copy all the data from player no.1 to player no.473.

Now open a notepad and paste the data and when naming the file, remember to enter .csv at the end, so that it gets stored as an Excel CSV file on your system.

Repeat the same steps and collect the data for defensive actions, possession and goal and shot creation as well. Feel free to collect any other sections that you feel are relevant to this player.

Collected all of the data? Good.

Now before feeding the data into Tableau Public, you need to convert it to excel format. For smaller data sets you can just use the CSV files, but here, since there are more columns and therefore more column names, it’s just easier to convert it to excel so that there are lesser formatting issues.

I’m sure there are more efficient ways to do this but here’s how I do it.

I use an online converter — Convertio.co

Now let’s go about making our graphs.

First off, defensive profile.

Now I know what you’re thinking, how do I highlight Shaw amongst all of this? Let’s just color him differently.

You’ll find that Shaw is one of the dots in the first quadrant and is separated from the rest because of his 1.65 Tackles Won per90 and 0.58 interceptions per90.

Now you’ll see that Shaw is Blue in colour and the rest are greyed out.

Remember that you can change the colors from the marks section and click on edit colors, under Color.

Now I want to make this a dark-themed and cool looking dashboard, so I’ve changed the worksheet background to the second darkest shade of black and I’ve made Shaw’s dot red and the rest grey.

Now here you definitely need to change the colors of each of the text elements in the graph.

The quickest way to do that is to click Format in the toolbar above. Under that, click on Workbook.

Now here, you can just change the font type and color from All, so I changed it to Yu Gothic UI Semibold.

You can change the way the grid lines look by adjusting their opacity and also changing the color of the median lines. Remember that median lines are part of ref lines, so changing the colour of that under format should be enough.

So this is your first scatterplot ready.

Now click on new worksheet and connect to another excel file by either pressing ctrl+D if you’re on Windows or just clicking on New Data Source under Data in the toolbar.

Now, using the player possession data, create a similar scatter for progressive carries vs final 3rd carries.

That’s two out of four done.

Let’s see how Shaw fares in terms of passing and offensive production by using bar graphs.

Again, use the same positional filter and minutes filter and filter for defenders who have played at least 10 90s.

I also filtered to show the top 10 defenders for progressive passes per90, Shaw ranks 6th best in the league in this metric.

Similarly, I created this bar graph and Shaw stands out for shot-creating actions per90 amongst defenders in the league with 3.24 shots created per90.

Now let’s put it all this together, here comes the fun part.

Putting it together

Now this is your blank dashboard.

Think of this as a block of cement and you want to lay some cool tiles on this. The cool tiles in this instance being your worksheets.

You see the Objects section there? It’s what you use to drop elements on the dashboard.

Before you go on to drop the worksheets onto the dashboard, let’s create a structure for them to be placed into using the Horizontal and vertical containers.

See the blue outline there? That shows the area of the dashboard that your first horizontal container object covers. Now when you drag a vertical object onto the dashboard, one half of the dashboard gets highlighted in a lighter grey shade, which shows the part which the vertical container covers.

Now I’ve divided the dashboard into four squares, you will be able to see the borders of each of the containers when you hover your cursor all over the dashboard.

Notice the borders of each of the worksheets I put in place. You can change the font size as per your choice, I find that the optimal size is 12.

Let’s clean up some of the extra stuff as well.

Since you already have the titles for the worksheets, the axis names for the bar graphs are redundant. You can get rid of them by simply right-clicking on the axis name and clicking on Show header.

You can get rid of the extra decimal numbers by going back to each of the worksheets and changing the number format of the metrics.

A dialogue box will appear under which, you go to number(custom) and decide the no. of decimals you want. The ideal is 2.

Final aesthetics

Now go back to your dashboard and you will see that the objects you are placing are essentially Tiled onto the dashboard which is why they are fixed. Select floating and then you can drop your image of choice of Shaw and drop text objects as well.

Yadda yadda yadda and here’s the final product!

So here’s your player dashboard!

There’s much more you can do in terms of improving the aesthetic of it, but at the very basic level, I wanted to help you guys out in getting started in creating dashboards of your own.

This is the end of it, hope you guys find it useful!

A big thanks to the guys at Football reference for all the data and Statsbomb as well.

I’ve uploaded all of the datasets I used in this link here so you don’t have to do it all over again if you’re using Premier League data —

Any and all feedback is most welcome and appreciated! Sorry I couldn’t go through each and every bit of detail because I thought that would’ve made the tutorial far too long.

Anywho, take care!

Stay safe and happy vizzing!

Freelance football writer | Tableau enthusiast

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