Using Shiny

Mitch Mooney (link) has created a Shiny application for netball. He has aggregated and curated 12,500 data points from publicly available sources.

Shiny is an R package that makes it possible to build interactive web apps straight from R.

Mitch’s Shiny application is a remarkable resource for netball and it provides us with an important example of how to collect and share data. I see it (link) as a great way to support user interaction and inquiry. It is for me a powerful exercise in reader-receptivity

There are thirty-one teams in Mitch’s database going back to 2013.

I share Mitch’s interest in Shiny as a way of making data public and encouraging reflection on those data. Many years ago, I was introduced to Wolfgang Iser (1991) and reader-receptivity criticism. Wolfagang suggested then:

By putting the response-inviting structures of literary text under scrutiny, a theory of aesthetic response provides guidelines for elucidating the interaction between text and reader.

He adds:

If a literary text does something to its readers, it also simultaneously reveals something about them. Thus literature turns into a divining rod, locating our dispostions, desires, inclinations, and eventually our overall make up.

It is this divining rod of dispositions that attracts me to Shiny and the sharing in which Mitch has engaged.

I have looked at Shiny for some time as a way to share data. Recently, I looked at goalkeeper heights at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France (link). I have also looked at the esquisse package to share data (link).

My interest in Shiny was stimulated by the discovery of the New Zealand Tourism Dashboard (link), “a one-stop shop for all information about tourism”. The dashboard brings together a range of tourism data produced by Ministry of Business, innovation and Employment and Statistics New Zealand into an easy-to-use tool. Information available is presented using dynamic graphs and data tables.

New Zealand government departments maintain fifteen web applications built with RStudio’s Shiny framework.Their main purpose is to make public data more available and accessible for non-specialist users (link).

I see Mitch’s contribution to this sharing as very important and I am delighted he has shared his link to the netball data.

Three posts about analysis and analytics

I have had some time to think about meta issues in performance analysis and analytics. I think this is an exciting and transformational time for this epistemological and ontological domain.

My three posts, written today flowed from a friend’s email in which my friend employed in an institute of sport observed that “the biggest challenge is how we develop and mentor these data people”.

The first post (link) discussed the concept of a sticky campus as a “a digitally-enabled space” and “a learning environment designed to give students everything they need for collaborative and solitary study, and to promote active learning”.

The second post looked at the verbs we use to describe what we do (link). This was prompted by a conjunction of my friend’s email and news of the IBM’s AI Ladder (link). The artificial intelligence ladder has four characteristics: collect; organise; analyse; and infuse.

A third post uses a lens of a critical friend to explore pedagogies and practices in performance analysis and analytics. It uses a seminal paper by Arthur Costa and Bena Kallick (1993) (link) to explore the trusted relationships that grow between friend and analyst. I am particularly interested in the role of a friend is an advocate for success (link). A key point in this post is the investment required by leaders in these learning opportunities “funds should be focused on providing high-quality professional learning experiences”.

Photo Credits

Vintage Sheep Hiking (Lenny K Photography, CC BY 2.0)

Markus Spiske on Unsplash

RLadies London (Twitter)

James Baldwin on Unsplash


My son, Sam, has just written a post about systems and networks (link). I found the post really interesting in a paternal sense and an epistemological sense.

The paternal part of me is delighted to read a blog post by Sam and to learn about his observations and reflections as a member of the #INF537 (link) Masters of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) online at Charles Sturt University.

The epistemological delight is in my commitment to self organising networks hinted at in Sam’s post. I have written a lot about networks (link) and have been thinking about these issues a great deal since the distributed, open course CCK08 (link), and becoming an accidental connectivist (link).

I am keen to persuade Sam privately and publicly to explore self organising networks (link) and to read more about Stephen Downes’ (link) and Alan Levine’s (link) work. I appreciate Sam’s particular working environment constraints (systemic) but am determined to explore the action possibilities he can address as a community driver and facilitate network flourishing within those constraints (link).

I sense that with energy anything is possible even in constrained contexts.

Photo Credit

The Maze (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)