I was reading Ben Mayhew’s explanations of his data visualisations on his blog site Experimental 3-6-1.
I came across his modification of Jenny Cann’s table idea. Ben’s description of his visual Cann tables is:
The main feature of the original Cann table is to space the clubs out in proportion to how many points they’ve won, making it easier to see where (and how big) the gaps between teams are.
I’ve taken this idea a step further and arranged teams based on what their final points total would be if they continued to earn them at the same rate …
I really enjoy Ben’s visualisations but I had not looked closely at Cann tables until Ben’s explanation. Nor had I any knowledge of Jenny Cann. (Ben extended his discussion of Jenny’s work in (Re)introducing visual Cann tables (link)).
It has been difficult to find out much about Jenny. But my interest in the biographical background of analysts prompted me to learn more. The timeline I have uncovered is:
Jenny maintained a blog site from 1998 to 2003. It was called The Clock End.
Jenny died in 2003. The traces I found of her were:
Mark Pitt (2004):
Jenny Cann used to maintain this interesting variation on the Premier League table. Her tragic death near the end of the 2002/3 season left the last table with 3 matches to play …
Jenny is mentioned in a tribute to Steve Gleiber (2005). Jenny is referred to as ‘Kampo’ by Kevin Lovegrove.
A Zach Slaton post (2012) (used as the reference on the Wikipedia page) refers to Jenny’s league tables.
Penguin (2013) noted:
In the late 1990s Jenny Cann used to publish a ‘visual’ premier league table showing the spaces between the teams via points rather than position to show the distances between teams. After her death … this became known as the Cann Table.
Brian Dawes (2014)
Jenny was a lovely lady and a serious Arsenal fan who died before her time. Quite rightly she felt that by showing the actual gap between all the teams the actual state of the league could be better conveyed. And she was absolutely right.
There is a Wikipedia page about Cann tables. It was first published in 2014.
By good fortune after I had compiled this timeline, I followed a link on a Danish blog site (Superstats) and discovered a link to a web archive of Jenny’s blog.
This is, I think, Jenny’s first visual league table posted on 10 January 1998:
This , I think, is the last visual table, in the web archive.
There is an archived picture there too:
I am delighted I have been able to find traces of Jenny. This blog post is my first use of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, an open source initiative that aims to provide mobile optimised content that can load instantly everywhere. Hopefully it will help introduce new readers to Jenny.
I have found a reference to a Jennifer Carol Cann who was born in 1962 and died in May 2003. If this is Jenny she is described as a civil servant.