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.

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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

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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

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!

http://pmcruz.com/work

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

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

Vacations, Christmas, New Year and Stuff…

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This one will be really quick. Christmas and New Year are quite a big thing in Portugal and both me and Pedro will be out for a couple of weeks. We’ll return, first thing in January!

It has been quite a fun ride so far.

We wish you and your families what we want for us and our families. Have fun, play games and stay classy!

Presenting On Games n’ Data

When someone asks me what I do for a living, I almost always answer “I make games, mobile games.” I am a Game Developer first and foremost. That is my social answer. It is easy to understand and people relate to it. Formally I am a Game Analyst, more specifically I am Miniclip’s Game Analytics Lead. I’m proud of both forms, I admit. I am both.

I write this blog as a decades old video game player and game developer but also as a game analyst. I’ll write about what I look at in data but also when, why and how I look at it. I’ll write about the games that I play and love. I’ll write about statistics, data science, stuff that I (over) think about, books I read, team management and of course, the occasional rant… after all, what’s a blog without some ranting?

To give me a hand, I asked my longtime friend Pedro Alves to help me out. All the brilliant illustrations in this blog are his.

To know a little bit more about us and the rationale behind the blog check the About and Authors pages.