Sunday, December 02, 2007

A good glossary

The other day I criticized the shortage of contextual information on's website, so I suppose the contextualization of data has been on the brain.
The First Inning baseball statistics site publishes a simple and good glossary to help readers quickly understand obscure acronyms and statistics, like ISOP. They define ISOP (isolated power) as "a pure measure of a hitter's power. Only doubles, triples, and home runs contribute to a batter's ISOP. Most productive batters' ISOP is somewhere between .150 and .200, but elite sluggers can produce ISOP of .300 and greater. ISOP = SLG - BA."
The definition could start with the calculation of ISOP, but that won't help most readers as much as a plain-language definition--"a pure measure of a hitter's power." More importantly, they give readers just enough context to interpret data by distinguishing, for instance, mere productive batters from elite sluggers. So when I see that Wes Bankston's ISOP was .180 in AAA Durham this year, I quickly know he's a passable but not great pure power hitter.
Perhaps the carma folks and other sites could learn from First Inning's example.