6 September 2023

Battle Ships & Big Data: join us for some fun!

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Does having better information improve your gameplay? We think so! And we built Bitmetric's Data-Driven Battle Ship to test it.

At Bitmetric, we welcome the concept of “slack time” ā€“ hours designated for handling unforeseen tasks, self-improvement, trying out new ideas, and sharing knowledge. We typically reserve Fridays for this purpose. This approach allows us to tackle urgent matters without derailing our schedules and has also sparked innovations such as SenseTheme and our Qlik Coding Conventions.

Today, we’d like to introduce a recent outcome of our “slack time” activities. While it may not directly boost productivity like our previous examples, it adds a touch of (even more) fun to our work.

“Let’s do something fun”

We’ll be present at the Big Data Expo in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on September 12th and 13th. Alongside a client presentation and product demonstrations, we’ve been brainstorming ideas for an interactive booth activity. Our goal is to craft an engaging experience that integrates data, adds a competitive dimension, remains time-efficient, offers enjoyment, and ideally, highlights our skills and products.

“Maybe a game?”

We quickly decided that our activity should take the form of a game. This led us to ponder whether having better information would enhance game outcomes and potentially alter the game dynamics. As we thought these were interesting questions, after exploring various possible games, we created:

Data-Driven Battle Ship šŸš¢

Similar to the classic game of Battle Ship, but with a data twist! This is a straightforward game with familiar rules that most people recognize. However, when played on a computer, it can be quite fast-paced. The intensity ramps up in the final rounds as players hunt for that elusive last ship, making it a thrilling experience. Or that’s at least what we thought šŸ˜‰

The following video shows an example playthrough:

“What’s so data-driven about it?”

We record every game, player, ship position, and shot. This data then powers a real-time Qlik Sense dashboard for analysis both pre-game and during gameplay. We’ll dive deeper into this dashboard in an upcoming post (and showcase it at the Big Data Expo). For the moment, let’s concentrate on the in-game information: the locations of ship placements and shots from past games. The following image shows how this works:

data-driven battleship

In this image, it’s evident that the majority of shots were directed towards the upper left corner, whereas the bulk of ships were positioned in the lower right corner. Where would you place your ships in this scenario? And where do you think your opponent will place their ships?

Is this a good spot, or a bad idea?

“So does data affect the gameplay?”

We think so, but we’re not sure yet. That’s why we’ll be collecting additional data at the Big Data Expo next week šŸ˜‰

Come see us at booth 46 for a quick round of Battle Ship and contribute to our research! Moreover, we’re eager to talk ship shop with you about all things related to data and analytics, particularly Qlik, TimeXtender, Azure, Motio Soterre, Mail & Deploy, Vizlib, and SenseTheme. See you there!

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How can we help?

Barry has over 20 years experience as a Data & Analytics architect, developer, trainer and author. He will gladly help you with any questions you may have.