The team behind one year of sharing

This is the fifth time I’m writing this post. It is important that I get it right. It’s a tad emotional and personal so… you have been warned!

Let me tell you how the idea for this post started… A couple of months ago I was surprised by Quora, a site of knowledge sharing, with the distinction of Top Writer. I love Quora and I was both happy and honoured. My family and friends heard me all… weekend… long… babbling about it.

In the following Monday I told my team and thanked them. That’s when this post started to form. You see… every time someone reads an answer on Quora or a post in this blog, every time someone learns something that I share about our experience at Miniclip it is the work of the teams under BI, mine included, that make it possible.


This is my personal thank you to Paul, Jonathan, Nuno, Inês, João, Miguel and Henrique, the BI managers, analysts and engineers.

I’ve been purposefully sharing our data adventure for about a year now. Without them I would have close to nothing to share. Without them there would be no talks, no Quora answers, no tweets, no Games N Data blog posts.

It is an honour and a privilege to be the messenger of their awesomeness!

Beautiful Visualisations: A Day in the Life of Americans


My first visualisation book was one by Nathan Yau. It is called “Visualise This” and is in fact a terrific book. Since then I also bought “Data Points”. I guess I’ll have to write a post about them but for now I want to point you to his website FlowingData.

More precisely to the interactive chart he set up with the day in the life of Americans. The automated visualisation goes through a day worth of time, minute by minute of the activities Americans are engaging in that minute.

As I did with the previous beautiful visualisation, I won’t take more of your time. Just visit the page through the link below, scroll down a bit and let yourself be data entertained.

A Day in the Life of Americans

Witcher 3 is great but it’s no game



A couple of weeks ago, sometime mid February 2016, I went to the dinning room where my wife and daughter were and announced “I finished it.” I remember it well, my eyes were red, I had a knot on my throat and I was feeling quite emotional. My wife quickly turned it to a quick joke “Yey! Daddy’s back!”

In case you finished or know what is the good ending of Witcher 3, that’s what I got. If you know all this and have a young daughter, you know how I was feeling, give or take some emotion. Want to know more?  Continue reading

So I bought a new (virtual) car… or why Real Racing 3 is so awesome.


Today’s post was going to be different. Initially it was going to be about rednecks. Then (and because I’m severely delayed with blog posts) I decide to write about Witcher 3, which I will by the way.

But then something awesome happened. And that something was an awesome Shelby ’66 Cobra 427. The one in the photo. So I bought a new (virtual) car… what’s the fuss about it?  Continue reading

Beautiful Visualisations: Traffic in Lisbon

I google “traffic lisbon” almost every week day. Top result is a visual snippet of Google Maps with a traffic overlay. Often enough for me to decide if I should go home or stay for a bit more to avoid heavy traffic.

I don’t know if I google something slightly different or if for some random chance I happened to look to the following lines but whatever it was it opened a page with the following visualisation.

This is a beautiful visualisation, one perfect example of data story telling. I surfed the site a bit to learn more about the author Pedro Miguel Cruz and found that data visualisation is his area of research.

I have to say that whatever he is doing, he is doing it right! I won’t take more of your time today. Instead of the 5 minutes reading, take it to enjoy some of his visualisations. Here’s the link to his work!

Jamie Madigan and the Psychology of Video Games


I need sometime to prepare some goodies for the blog so for the next couple of months I’ll be writing about topics and people that orbit around games and analytics. Don’t worry I’ll return to the techy part later but what I’ve planned takes a bit of work.

In the meantime I want to start with a very special podcast and its creator. Continue reading

Why do I want a user state

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the user state. Went through what it is and what it has, meaning, what variables are included. This week the focus is on what you can do with it.

Assuming you are sold to the idea of a user state, you now have (or will have!) a large table with all or users. That table has a many variables that touch all areas of The Player Lifecycle.

So… now what? What’s the point.

This is the objective of this post, to tell you what you can do with it. Continue reading

Why the freemium model is a good thing

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There’s way too much noise about mobile games freemium model. I can understand why. I’ve read stuff on prefrontal cortex and children that make me appreciate the fact that there’s tighter control on in-app purchases, that the button name changed and there are warnings about in-app purchases.

Yes, some people went too far and focus way too much energy in seeing their ARPDAU grow $0.0001 through methods that go way beyond marketing and data analysis.

My personal opinion is that they are pursuing the wrong things. First a great game, then monetisation. I believe monetisation can be built around a great game. I don’t believe that a great game can be built around monetisation. I also believe the freemium model is a good thing for games and players if we build a great game. I have two perspectives on why this is. One passionate, one cerebral… no surprises I guess.  Continue reading

The User State

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The user state is the unsung hero of game analytics. People spend countless hours looking at dashboards from reporting tables, analysing datasets built from purchases and session events but the user state is only remembered when some vital piece of information about the user wasn’t added to it.

Still the users state is central to a well built analytics system, especially if we are building your own in house.

So what is it? And why does it matter? Continue reading

Why questions are better than data

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Fred entered the room. The walls are covered by whiteboards scribbled with words that he reads in his LinkedIn feed and hand made scatterplots and line charts in red and black, green and blue. This is the lair of the data analysts and data engineers. He is very proud that his company has a data science team. He has been reading a lot of nice stuff about data science and big data and he brags about its impact to his friends.

“Hey Gabriel! I want to ask you something.” Gabriel takes his eyes of his monitor and smiles back to Fred: “Hey, what’s up? What do you need?” Fred requests “If you have the time, can you send me an Excel file with… let’s say… the last 6 months of in-app sales?”

Continue reading