Published on March 2, 2019 3:42 PM by dbo.
The February 2019 release notes for the CFLdb family of sites details the sparse number of updates to the CFLdb family of sites. Read on to learn more.
The following changes have been made to CFLdb Statistics since the last report:
Along with numerous other cosmetic, data, performance, administrative, or infrastructure related bug fixes and enhancements (5 commits this month).
Thanks to contributor Colin this month.
This month’s contributor Colin Gardiner showcases the traits of a community of strangers that are building a source of Canadian Football data available to all, owned by all.
Like many across this nation, Colin attended one CFL game a year during his teenage years. Each year Colin and his dad would travel from Victoria to a Lions game at Empire Stadium against the powerful Eskimos, who always drew a crowd. Colin took notes of the experiences, including the attendance and atmosphere. When reviewing CFLdb Statistics, Colin noticed the attendance listed for the Sept. 13th, 1980 game he attended did not match his memory and referred to his notes kept all this time. They confirmed a “crowded” stadium and a virtual sellout, which didn’t jive with the number listed for that one game, though all others he had notes on matched the site. Colin reached out and graciously explained the situation, providing the game and details. I was easily able to confirm there was an error by checking sources which matched Colin’s number, and then correct the information.
Finding this data entry error in thousands of games through audits of all kinds is an almost impossible task for one person. Such an error, unbeknownst to me, would never be found. Yet it was found and corrected, because one person saw it, suspected it was wrong and reported it. That game page now has the correct attendance, and the 1980 season attendance figures are updated to reflect the corrected info. Such a story for how it was found and corrected is fantastic to me and proves the power of crowd sourcing.
CFLdb has a base of information sourced from the CFL, from my records, other major contributions by researchers, and contributions by many individuals. Game data provided with the CFL has been electronically audited against existing data and is the most reliable. Attendance data has been contributed by CFLdb and other individuals, which leads to potential issues in the original capturing of the information and data entry into CFLdb Statistics.
Individuals can contribute so much by finding these small errors, or contributing missing information. In theory, the small contributions from all individuals could add up to or exceed the total contributions from the major contributors. Crowd sourcing the information in this way will complete and validate the record in a way no individual can. I do not profit from this data, I sell no ads or memberships and pay all site costs out of my pocket. This ensures that contributors feel they are at the same level as the steward of site, and not being exploited for their time and research. The Canadian Football Datasette is the first experiment to provide this data back to the community for use and consumption and I encourage all to test it out and provide your feedback before the June deadline.
What about you? Maybe you don’t have any notes. Maybe the data you have collected is already present. There are other ways to contribute. Wonder why the site is missing information like Miss Grey Cup winners, lists of team trainers, broadcast crews or awards like Friday Night Gladiator (the requested list goes on)? If you have the information, contribute it. I believe the number of data collectors and note takers like Colin out there are greater than the number made known to others. If you aren’t/weren’t a collector, but feel that need to complete the record, go do the research to contribute to the site. If a considerably complete amount of data is contributed, rather than a single contribution for an area not currently present (e.g. a single Miss Grey Cup winner), I will see it gets added so others can benefit and add to it. In this way, one source for the football record gets completed. Not interested in historical research, but still want to contribute? Validation of the information in the FAQs and other resources is always welcome. Please reach out, make yourself known and name your interests. Finding roles for the willing is never an issue. Contributors can always decide to remain anonymous if they choose, and make no commitment to complete any work they express interest in.
About one month into the Datasette experiment, there are some things to report. First, in terms of usage, 35 unique individuals visited the Datasette site, with only a handful of these spending enough time to take the site through its paces.
One visitor provided feedback on the site. Dial H. respectfully made a case for normalizing (a database term) the score data so it could be searched by team without distinguishing between home or visitor location.
The request was considered, but ruled out at this time for a number of reasons:
Overall, 35 trials and feedback from one individual is not a bad start considering it was only mentioned in an introductory article and release notes. Part of the experiment is to see how this offering will spread through the research community, or if the community is too loosely knit and protective to work together on source information available to all.
For suggestions to be acted upon, I need substantial indication from other researchers that the suggestion is valuable before I commit time to make changes. I want to spend my limited time delivering the most value to all researchers, not making changes useful to a single person only. This means those with suggestions need to drum up support in the community and get others to voice their support for the proposal to CFLdb (see below for contact info).
Send all contributions, corrections and suggestions to me via methods found on the Contact page. All contributions are credited, with more prominent credit for the largest statistics contributors on the CFLdb Statistics home page. The contributor list will, therefore, reflect the true owners of the site, those that research, compile and contribute data and corrections.