From encoding Civil War documents to visualizing the Tate Collection, our program facilitators have exposed us to the wide-ranging applications of digital scholarship in the modern era of technology. The tools involved in these demonstrations have been equally comprehensive. Given the first year of the Bucknell DSSRF program is already halfway done, one of this week’s focuses was identifying the main tools with which I will spend the rest of the summer working. Below I will explain the tools I have decided to use, and briefly explain why I’ve selected these tools.

First, my research question, though it has been altered since the DSSRF program began, still includes data visualization. For that reason, I will present most of data in Tableau. Tableau Public allows for open-access data visualization with any properly formatted data. I especially prefer Tableau to similar products for its simple and aesthetically pleasing designs. Tableau allows for user-interaction, where visitors to my site can highlight or click on data points to discover more about specific players and teams. I feel strongly that my final site should allow users to choose the path taken when exploring the site, so Tableau is key in making this wish a reality. Using the individual player data combined to form team metrics, I can use Tableau to demonstrate the team statistics with the strongest predictive abilities.

In order to prove which metrics will be included to create an accurate and contextually reasonably model, I will be using R. Though we did not review the essential applications of R during the DSSRF program, I am fortunate to have a bit of experience in basic R. Beginning with a team-taught “Math and Politics” IP course I took my sophomore year, I have been experimenting in R for about 2 years. Not only is R capable of facilitating the creation of highly advanced models, but R is user friendly as well. In particular, an immensely helpful resource is Stack Exchange. On this open forum, users offer answers to questions already asked, as well as questions I pose to the community. Thus, R is a valuable asset to even the least code-inclined individuals given the support available 24/7 from around the globe.

I foresee smaller tools such as Rawgraphs and even TimelineJS playing a role in this project in the future. However, given the quick pace of the DSSRF program, my priority is to have a poignant presentation when July 21st rolls around. Thus, narrowing my focus to Tableau Public and R is the best way to ensure project completion.