As a young lad about to enter my thirties I am all about progression. I am not the type of person who willingly sits still and waits for things to happen. I have been constantly improving my skills and getting certifications. I have some specific objectives that I want to achieve and to do it I need to build appropriate systems to match.
I have done amazingly well with my fitness objectives and there are two main factors that I attribute to the success:
- Fitness challenges – something to work towards that provides a means to measure performance
- Community – friends and peers who are like minded and are working towards similar goals
Fitness has been a great way for self improvement. It has taught me to take care of myself, be disciplined and be a little more selfish to not be a pushover.
The Information Lab UK is a Business Intelligence consulting company that specializes in analytics using Alteryx and Tableau, the former I am working to bring in and the latter I use on a daily basis. A few weeks ago, The Information Lab announced that they are taking new applications for this year. This provides me with a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone:
- I’ve always wanted to make use of data from the Riot API to get details from League of Legends to do analysis and improve my gameplay, maybe if I’m successful I can build something to help others!
- Practice/work towards achieving my goal of improving my Tableau skills
Regarding the Tableau skills, I am currently a Tableau Desktop 9 Qualified Associate. I made an attempt to become a Certified Professional in October while at the Tableau Conference, I failed it but I learned some valuable lessons and I know what I need to do to get it done.
As part of my submission for the Information Lab application, I will be taking my solution in three stages: getting data, doing some analysis and presenting a story.
Stage 0: The Question
Before you can begin analysis or gathering data, we need to have a question or an objective. My aim is to understand my performance to improve my gameplay with the objective of improving my win rate.
Stage 1: Getting Data
This is going to be a lot of work. To achieve this I need to utilize skills I do not have yet (I’ve never had to do them, never needed to do them and no-one has taught me how to do them).
- I need to use R to get the data from the API (manually collecting data is not an option, come on this is 2016!)
- I need to understand how to work with JSON files and how to navigate through the tree to extract the data elements I need
- I need to reshape the data from the API to suit my analytic needs
I have learned some R skills from doing the Data Science Specialization through Johns Hopkins University via Coursera, I should be able to pick up the rest as I go.
Stage 2: Doing some analysis
Once the data has been acquired, or at least I know how to extract data that I need, I can begin to do some analysis to better understand my performance and identify areas for improvement.
Stage 3: Telling The Story
Finally once I have identified my KPIs and developed a means for tracking my performance, I can share my progress and provide an evaluation for whether or not my method worked. Additionally this is where I will be spending a bit of time customizing the appearance to break away from the defaults and really make the story pop.
Why is this analysis important?
For League of Legends players, this is a huge benefit in showing a methodology that can be used to improve your games short of watching vods and reading guides. After every chess game, usually tournament games, we would go over the game, find things we may have missed, find mistakes made for improvements and avoid the mistakes in future games. This analysis takes a similar approach and with the proper record of the game we can better evaluate performance and move forward.
For non League of Legends players, this is a great example of how to gather machine data using APIs to get data from the appropriate sources and form an analytic solution to create KPIs that will provide a means to track performance over time and understand or answer the question.