April 3, 2017

Storytelling with Data: consumer alert

In March 2016 I gave a favourable review to a newly published book, Storytelling with Data by Cole Knaflic. Today (2017-04-03) she posted a new blog entry, "the book you're holding might be a fake!", in response to the discovery that poor-quality pirate editions of her books are available for purchase.

Knaflic's response has been exemplary: notifying people who bought the book what to look for in the knock-offs, and how to exchange the book for a proper copy. If you have a copy, go to the linked site above and check your copy against the description. (Fortunately, my copy is legit.)

This problem has alerted me to something I neglected to mention in my original review: the high quality of the physical book. The paper has a soft sheen which allows the print and graphics to stand out, the colours are sharp and consistent, and printing is clear.

A year later, my high opinion of this book has not shifted.


March 26, 2017

Updated Shiny app

A short post to alert the world that my modest Shiny application, showing Major League Baseball run scoring trends since 1901, has been updated to include the 2016 season. The application can be found here:

In addition to the underlying data, the update removed some of the processing that was happening inside the application, and put it into the pre-processing stage. This processing needs to happen only the once, and is not related to the reactivity of the application. This will improve the speed of the application; in addition to reducing the processing, it also shrinks the size of the data table loaded into the application.

The third set of changes were a consequence of the updates to the Shiny and ggplot2 packages in the two years that have passed since I built the app. In Shiny, there was a deprecation for "format" in the sliderInput widget. And in ggplot2, it was a change in the quotes around the "method" specification in stat_smooth(). A little thing that took a few minutes to debug! Next up will be some formatting changes, and a different approach to one of the visualizations.