April showers brings May flowers … but more importantly, April brings the Masters. My name is Scott, and I’m an analytics nerd, with a golfing habit.

Although I enjoy the PGA tour, the Masters has always been special to me. Trevor and I (having both been fortunate enough to walk the fairways at Augusta on different occasions) were recently talking about the upcoming tournament. More specifically, who stood the best chance of winning and who didn’t. Still basking in the glow following the Gartner Data and Analytics conference, I thought surely there must be a way to use analytics to provide statistical evidence that our golf knowledge was above average.

Before I knew it, Trevor had built some Tableau workbooks that pulled in statistics from various sources, that then fed into a prediction model. Now because the prediction wasn’t accurate (didn’t align to my predicted outcome), I decided to enhance the prediction model … for accuracy purposes, of course. NOT so that the outcomes better aligned to my predictions. Having been impressed by a recent demo that I saw, my tool of choice was PowerBI.

Ultimately, we ended up with a LOT of different visualizations (that mostly proved me wrong, or should I say, didn’t prove me right?!). Word quickly spread through the office, and to our friends, of the *cough* work *cough* that we were doing, and people naturally wanted to see the outcomes. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried sharing many different visualizations, coming from different systems, to people who don’t really understand analytics, but let me tell you, it ain’t easy.

Fortunately, we both work on Theia, which is designed for telling data stories. Although our Masters debate argument research isn’t business related, we decided to create a data story to share with those interested parties. At the end of the day, a data story can be about anything, even a golf tournament. Plus, using Theia to tell our Masters story is a good way for us to justify our time and effort as ‘work related’.

I’m not going to share the winner of the 2019 Masters with you just yet, but keep your eyes open as we will be sharing the results through social media next week. Monday and Tuesday will showcase the analytics that went into the prediction, with the winner being revealed on Wednesday. Watch, or follow, @HeyTheia next week for all of our Masters fun, I mean work.

Semi-legal disclaimer: I did say that our golf knowledge was only above average, so don’t go making any large bets using our visualizations or predictions.