Dec 14, 2021
The data gene lurks everywhere, including deep in the heart of Texas High School Football! Enter Coach Chase Hargis, Defensive coach of the Magnolia High School Football team in Texas and also a data guy, who asked P3 Adaptive to help with a very specific data problem...how to visualize football data so as to give an edge to his players? The solution is CoverHawk and has introduced Power BI to an unusual audience in high school football players and coaches!
References in this episode:
Rob Collie (00:00):
Hello friends. Today's guest is Coach Hargis. It's not his actual first name. We often talk about how the data gene lurks everywhere and today's conversation is just further proof of something that we already believe fervently anyway. Because of Coach Hargis this past fall in Texas High School Football, there's been nearly a 100 high school football players unknowingly using Power BI. So right now, pause this intro, pause this podcast, open up a browser and go to www.coverhawk.app. Go take a quick look around that homepage and I'll wait. Coverhawk is a 100% Power BI embedded site in public eye. You only have access to the homepage. So the real guts of it is behind the scenes, but it's truly an example of the versatility of Power BI. And it's actually really Power BI being used almost 100% in that visualization role.
Rob Collie (00:56):
And that's a role that most of us Power BI people tend to bristle at like when Power BI gets pigeonholed by some unknowing character as a visualization tool, we all know it's much, much more than that, but CoverHawk is almost the textbook case for the power of visualization. But it's as simple as this, thousands of data points produced by dozens and dozens of hours of film review by coaches. Before CoverHawk really didn't go anywhere. You really couldn't get any traction with these high school kids, with CoverHawk though, the adoption and uptake of all of this information, all of this data has become so much fun and so unconscious that they all now refer to it as the Hawk. So file this episode under the headings of unexpected places to find the data gene and unexpected applications of Power BI. I hope you enjoy it. We've certainly enjoyed our time working with Coach Hargis, looking forward to next season. So let's get into it.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please.
This is the raw data by P3 Adaptive podcast with your host, Rob Collie. Find out what the experts at P3 Adaptive can do for your business. Just go to www.p3adaptive.com. Raw data by P3 Adaptive is data with the human element.
Rob Collie (02:18):
Welcome to the show Coach Hargis. Is that your first name coach? Is that actually your given first name that was under birth certificate.
Coach Chase Hargis (02:24):
A lot of people call me that, but no, my original name is Chase Hargis.
Rob Collie (02:29):
I liked seeing how everybody just greet each other as coach at the convention. Hey coach. Hey. Hi. How you doing coach? Hey coach. Everybody used exactly the same name.
Coach Chase Hargis (02:37):
You can't miss.
Rob Collie (02:38):
That'd be amazing for someone like me that has trouble remembering names. Just walk around, calling everybody the same thing. It'd be awesome.
Coach Chase Hargis (02:46):
Even if you don't coach, I still call you coach, just because it's just a habit.
Rob Collie (02:50):
Yeah, it just becomes muscle memory after a while. How about you tell us in your own words how you and I met. That'll bring us right into the thick of the data.
Coach Chase Hargis (03:00):
I was actually scrolling through some pictures today of how me and you met. I was looking for a scatter plot visual for my football kids on how to see where opposing quarterbacks are throwing the football. And I just was Googling all kinds of stuffs quarterback spray chart, quarterback scatter plot, 3D visual, this and that and the other. I actually had a couple of pictures saved on my phone. I stumbled across today, but I clicked on this one picture I believe it was your fantasy football deal and it took me to a webpage that said, if you would like further information type in your email address. And I unfortunately the go getter type and I'm not afraid for people to tell me no so I typed it in and away we went.
Rob Collie (03:47):
So you got on the phone with some people from our team and they were like trying to treat you as a potential normal business client. And that didn't really fit your budget, but let's go back just really briefly. So you're defensive coordinator, defensive coach at a high school in Texas. Yes?
Coach Chase Hargis (04:04):
Yes sir. I am the defensive coordinator at Magnolia high school in North Houston.
Rob Collie (04:10):
North Houston. Yes, indeed. And you're out on Google. You've got this thought in your head. There's got to be a better way to show these players on my team what to expect from the team we're going to play next week, right?
Coach Chase Hargis (04:24):
Yes, sir. Our season was over so I was just going forward looking for something that I could give my kids to help us do better. And I knew something had to be out there. I just didn't know how I was going to use it or get it to my kids.
Rob Collie (04:37):
You hear this Luke he's from Texas he keeps calling me sir. Totally not warranted. Don't do that. You're not going to be able to resist again. It's muscle memory.
Coach Chase Hargis (04:48):
Rob Collie (04:49):
You'll end up calling me coach here in a moment. To the people who don't care about or really know anything about American Football. We hear a lot about the power of visualization in our line of work. There are professionals in the quote and quote data industry, this is their entire brand is visualization. That's how they define themselves as a visualization expert. And I can't think of an example, other than yours, that's better than what you've got in terms of the power of visualization. I know this because we've spent so much time working together on this. Your weekly workflow during a football season, you spend a lot of time watching film. It's not film anymore. It's all digital, but we still call it film because that's cool, right?
Coach Chase Hargis (05:37):
Rob Collie (05:37):
So you watch film on your upcoming opponent. You watch a whole bunch of their games and you've got this, we'll call it an interface. But basically you've got this Excel like table that's plugged into the software where you're reviewing plays and you're manually coding in what happened on each play. So you're doing a lot of data entry.
Coach Chase Hargis (05:59):
Rob Collie (06:00):
How many rows do you think, and I know it's different each week, because there's more film available on certain opponents than others. But how many plays will you watch on an opposing quarterback, opposing offense?
Coach Chase Hargis (06:13):
We just lost in the first round of the playoffs, but an average High School Football team in Texas runs about 50 to 60 plays of offense a game. So we had 10 games of this opponent, because this would be our 11th game. First round of the playoffs and our little platform records how much film you watch. And so I watched 16 hours of film that week from Sunday through Thursday. And yeah, I'm entering play calls and data for 55 plays a game times 10.
Rob Collie (06:45):
So you end up with between 500 and 600 rows at least for this past game entered into an Excel table. It not really Excel, but it looks like Excel and it's many columns wide.
Coach Chase Hargis (06:57):
As many as I want it to be.
Rob Collie (06:59):
You can't see it all at once, right? You got to scroll left and right even.
Coach Chase Hargis (07:02):
Rob Collie (07:03):
Yeah. So people listening to this can understand 500 plus row spreadsheet with more columns than fit on your monitor. So then naturally you just turn around, right? And you give that table of data to your players in raw form and say, go study this.
Coach Chase Hargis (07:19):
Go get up.
Rob Collie (07:20):
Go ingest it.
Coach Chase Hargis (07:22):
Yeah. I wish it was that easy.
Rob Collie (07:24):
Which is not what you do.
Coach Chase Hargis (07:25):
Rob Collie (07:26):
For example, when you're watching a play, you're writing down coding into this table, whether it was a pass play or a run play, who they threw it to, how far they had to throw it, which area of the field they throw it to, all kinds of things like that, right? So that's why there's so many columns. There's so many things to encode from this data. And so by the time you're done with this 16 hours of film review, how much time do you think your players, the kids on your team, how much time do you think they have to study up on what you've done? Do they put in 16 hours?
Coach Chase Hargis (08:00):
Definitely not. No. We have to actually teach them how to watch film, believe it or not. Because they just want to throw on a game and watch the game. Like they're watching Monday Night Football or something. So we have to teach them how to watch it. But one of my linebackers, one of my little mini me on the field as I call him, he watched about five hours one week, I think was the most this season. So they've got a lot of other stuff going on.
Rob Collie (08:23):
Yeah, of course, they do. And a lot of life changes going on for them in high school. It's a busy time. So before you had the visualization that we built, what were you using to convey your opponents tendencies to your team?
Coach Chase Hargis (08:40):
The platform that we use that you talked about to watch film has a literal three by three grid of where a team is throwing the football.
Rob Collie (08:50):
Like a tic-tac toe visual.
Coach Chase Hargis (08:51):
Absolutely. Yeah. It's like, I don't know if my kids ever looked at that or got anything off those numbers, but yeah, it just was very vague. And I know where they're throwing the football by all the film I watch and what I call the plays and whatnot. But I was looking for something that could help them further understand where teams are trying to throw the football on us.
Rob Collie (09:11):
So what we have of course is a Power BI scatter plot. It's a 2D scatter plat with an image of a football field and we created something called CoverHawk using Power BI embedded. How many players on your team on an average week have been logging into www.coverhawk.app and unknowingly using a Power BI embedded solution to scout the opponent each week.
Coach Chase Hargis (09:38):
We had 36 players on our varsity defense this year and it better have been all 36 of them, but I got a feeling it was most of them.
Rob Collie (09:46):
Unlike the usual Power BI solution where there's calculations involved and there's cross referencing, the average business data model and DAX and formulas that go with it are performing a lot of digestion of the data before that data is fed to the visual canvas. But in our case, in this CoverHawk solution, we don't really do any calculation at all. It's more about just every single row gets displayed. I taught you how to take your exports from the film system. You're exporting to Excel, which by the way puts you in the same boat as everyone in business everywhere.
Rob Collie (10:29):
That's what they do. They've got some line of business system that they work with and they press Excel export and then their real work begins there. So you're exporting to Excel and importing that into your Power BI workbook, your PBIX file. And then you're publishing it to our P3 Adaptive Power BI tenant. But the players aren't logging into the P3 Adaptive Power BI tenant. They're logging into www.coverhawk.app or .app is the top level domain instead of.com. So CoverHawk is the name of the solution and they log in there. That's when we're using Power BI embedded. And do any of them know that it's Power BI?
Coach Chase Hargis (11:13):
Not at all? No.
Rob Collie (11:14):
Has anyone even asked you?
Coach Chase Hargis (11:16):
Grownups have asked me.
Rob Collie (11:17):
You haven't had any kids come up to you going, Hey, how'd you do this?
Coach Chase Hargis (11:20):
No couple of dads are interested. They've seen it.
Rob Collie (11:24):
Really. That's cool. Spoiler alert. I'm sure this is going to shock you. I did not play organized football at any level past like second grade flag. But if I had been on your team, I would've probably been asking you how you did this.
Coach Chase Hargis (11:37):
We're not at that level on our defense.
Rob Collie (11:40):
I actually think that's great. When technology is at its best, you really don't even notice it. You don't wonder about the why, you don't wonder about how the sausage was made. You're just like, this is good sausage. How much interaction have you gotten over their shoulder? Did you hold a training session to show them how to use it? How did you do all that?
Coach Chase Hargis (11:58):
So yeah, we started off with a training session. I mean, we have a film room which I'm sitting in right now and made them bring all their laptops and Chromebooks or whatever they had and Hey, we're going to go to www.coverhawk.app. Here's our login, and here we go. I'm going to show you guys everything you can do in it. And as far as that, when I haven't really looked over any shoulders, but they come up to me a lot at practice, even they'll tell me like, yeah, I saw he's throwing it right here a lot to this receiver that makes it worthwhile for me. It's like, yes, they are using it.
Rob Collie (12:29):
Has anyone even come up to you and said, I'm not getting it. Has anyone volunteered that they're struggling with it?
Coach Chase Hargis (12:33):
No. A couple of kids came up to me and said, I can't get back to the original. They wouldn't know how to reset their filters or whatever. That was one problem we ran into. They're like, I've gotten all the way down to three dots and I can't get back to the whole picture. So we had to go back over. There's a Reset Filters button to take you back to start and then you can dive in from there.
Rob Collie (12:53):
That's good. That's a really good question. That is a really good sign when someone is asking you a question like that. A, it shows that they're willing to be vulnerable, right? They're willing to show you that they can't figure something out. It also very clearly signals that they're using it and they're actually using it in an advanced way. We didn't mess around with this thing we allowed I don't know how many different kinds of interactive visuals. It's at least double digit places is in this report that you can click.
Rob Collie (13:17):
And I messed up even right there when you told me about that problem, the fact that I named it the Reset Filters button, is a mistake. That word filter doesn't appear anywhere else does it? As they're clicking around they're not thinking about that as filters. I am. So in CoverHawk V3, let's call this year's version V2. In V3 of CoverHawk Start Over would probably be a better label for that button. Clear All or something. I don't know, but the word filters shouldn't be in there. My fault, your high school Magnolia used CoverHawk this year made it to the state playoffs. Not all teams make the playoffs it's an achievement just to even be there, right? You're very disappointed that you lost in the first round as I'm I, but there is one other team in the state of Texas that is also using CoverHawk right now with your assistance and they are still in it.
Coach Chase Hargis (14:10):
It is my Alma mater, the Southlake Carroll Dragons. They are undefeated once again, and in the state semi-finals for the State Championship of Texas High School Football. So they are one of four teams remaining in their division.
Rob Collie (14:23):
And what division is this that they're in? There's different size schools, right?
Coach Chase Hargis (14:28):
Yeah. We go all the way up to 6A and there's a 6A division one, which is your bigger schools and a 6A division two. They are 6A division one. They are the biggest classification.
Rob Collie (14:38):
They're in the final four of the big leagues which would sound like it would mean a lot until you realize just how casual the State of Texas is about their High School Football. I mean, it's really not that big a deal.
Coach Chase Hargis (14:49):
Yeah. We don't care about it at all.
Rob Collie (14:50):
Yeah. It's not a religion or anything.
Coach Chase Hargis (14:54):
Nobody just watches 16 hours for no reason.
Rob Collie (14:58):
They don't make TV shows about it.
Coach Chase Hargis (15:02):
Rob Collie (15:03):
Friday Night Lights was based in like what? Delaware?
Coach Chase Hargis (15:06):
That's right. Rhode Island Football.
Rob Collie (15:08):
I'm pretty sure it was Texas. So it's a pretty high intensity thing. So CoverHawk, power BI embedded is in the final four of division one 6A.
Coach Chase Hargis (15:18):
That's right. We are doing it.
Rob Collie (15:21):
End of podcast. Mike dropped. Walk off. Yeah. Southlake Carroll is a name that even I recognized from my high school years, because back when USA today used to rank, I guess they still probably do that rank. It's just one of the funniest things ever in my opinion, which is a national newspaper ranking high school football teams, like having a national ranking when there's so few common opponents probably not even playing the same rules necessarily everywhere. I've heard about them for a long time. This is a storied football team. You say it's your alma mater. So you played for them, didn't you?
Coach Chase Hargis (15:52):
I did. Coming up on 20 years ago.
Rob Collie (15:55):
So you have two levels of user now don't you? The players on your team and you have the players on Southlake Carroll, but they don't really talk to you I wouldn't think.
Coach Chase Hargis (16:06):
The players do not talk to me. Yes, sir.
Rob Collie (16:09):
That'd be a little too much, right?
Coach Chase Hargis (16:10):
Rob Collie (16:11):
That second level that I'm talking about is you've got a coach or coaches at Southlake Carroll that you're supporting. Has that been a lot of fun?
Coach Chase Hargis (16:19):
It has because my good, good friend is their defensive coordinator. I mean, I was in his wedding and we lived together for four years and the guy that is running their spreadsheets for CoverHawk is my principal's son. And I actually helped get him the job at Southlake Carroll. So it has been a pleasure working with those guys.
Rob Collie (16:38):
I've told you numerous times how impressed I've been at your ability to keep your spreadsheet clean. There's nothing in this interface on this website called Huddle that does anything resembling data validation. So you can fat finger all kinds of garbage into that 500 row by 40 column absolute mess of a grid. And then of course, when you feed it into Power BI and a power query, heaven help you. The power query for that thing was almost a 100% written by me. So you get all these incredibly mysterious refresh errors and every now and then you've had to come back to me and ask me like, Hey, what's going on here? And I go track it down. And when I go track it down, I'm like, yeah, there's no way Coach Hargis could have tracked this down on his own.
Rob Collie (17:25):
I'm assuming that I'm only seeing the tip of the iceberg, that you are catching data quality issues, refresh issues that you have been diagnosing and fixing on your own without asking me, because you don't seem like the kind of person who asked me to help you until you've wasted eight hours of your own time trying to fix it yourself. Am I right?
Coach Chase Hargis (17:43):
You are right. I mean, until I'm about to pull my hair out is when I come to you, but I scour those things constantly looking for anything. And at least I know the kid that's working with him at Southlake so I can get onto him and like, gosh, you put this here and you're not supposed to put that there.
Rob Collie (17:58):
A future production version of CoverHawk would have much better data validation on the data entry side and or not just data validation. Because the problem is we don't control the Huddle website. The most convenient place to be entering the data is not one that we control. So we can't add data validation there. We can't catch them when they accidentally have the shift key down when they press one and they get an exclamation point, which happens to look awfully lot like a one when you're scanning that huge grid of numbers with your eyeballs, right?
Coach Chase Hargis (18:31):
Sure it does.
Rob Collie (18:32):
Or you've entered a code for a team that doesn't match the list of teams and the other table. In a environment that we controlled end to end, we could do much better, but we could also instead add a pre-checker, a tool that looks at your data before it gets ingested into Power BI and scans for these 10 and most frequent mistakes and identifying them specifically, that would be a really helpful thing to write, but we didn't have time to do that this year so we just made that you.
Rob Collie (18:58):
You really took to this and I have tried to explain, for example, the power query settings like that aim the folder to a different place, because I'll build this thing and it's pointing to a Rob folder on the Rob hard drive and then I send it to you and you've got to change it and point it to, I haven't even been nice to you. I haven't even done the thing where if it has the back slash at the end of the path, it won't double it up. But if it isn't there, I could have been nice and done that handling but no, I make you leave the back slash off or put it, I forget which you either have too few or many back slashes, right? Like it's a very sensitive thing that I've given you. We were just playing around at the time, like back...
Coach Chase Hargis (19:37):
Rob Collie (19:37):
When it was the No Checkdown site, I didn't really worry about any of this stuff. So we went to this conference in, what was it July?
Coach Chase Hargis (19:44):
Rob Collie (19:46):
Yeah, we did a booth. It's my first time being an exhibitor at a trade show, except for when I worked for Microsoft. And it's definitely the first time I've ever been to a trade show and spent any amount of time there that wasn't software. It's so funny. Like it was the same cafeteria lunch experience. Everything's the same, the way you walk into the trade show, it could be exposition hall, all of it's the same. It's just that most of the booths that you go to actually have physical things you can touch. There were racks of weights and remote control tackling dummies and most famously for me, these gigantic inflatable tunnels that you can buy for your team to run on out of at the beginning of the game. We were there a day early, right? During setup day and the tunnels were inflated. And so you didn't even really hardly knew me at all at that point and I'm handing you my phone saying, Hey, will you do me a favor and record me just running out of this tunnel.
Coach Chase Hargis (20:48):
That's right. We were about 25 minutes into person to person contact.
Rob Collie (20:53):
So I take my flip flops off and then I went back to my hotel and set it to the Rocky theme and put some slow mo in it to hide the fact that I was running so slowly. And yeah, it's a treasured keepsake for me now. But what were you thinking at that moment when this guy hands you his phone and said, come on, let's do this?
Coach Chase Hargis (21:12):
It was a great blow up. You couldn't miss the opportunity. It was one of the biggest I've ever seen. I thought, at least he's embracing what we're doing here and he's not just totally laughing the whole time.
Rob Collie (21:21):
No, I was immersed. I wish we could have had more time when it had like a real camera crew we could have gone around and filmed, nerd goes to the football conference type of skit where we go back we need to bring a crew.
Coach Chase Hargis (21:34):
It'd be a great documentary.
Rob Collie (21:35):
Three of us that went were me, you and Molly from here at P3. And at one point, Molly asked me when you weren't around, Rob, would you hire someone like Chase to work at P3? I'm like, heck yeah, totally. And so this comes back to this notion of the data gene. I think for most people listening, this just makes so much sense. Of course, you've got this big grid of data and of course you need a better visualization than the three by three ugly tells you nothing grid.
Rob Collie (22:06):
But I know better because the population of football coaches at any level, not just high school, but at any level who have come through our lead submission system, that population is one. It's you. You're the only one who has done that. And we didn't make any effort to advertise the old No Checkdown site. The one that you found before we created CoverHawk, we certainly didn't put keywords in there, like high school defensive coordinators. We weren't even thinking about it from the defensive side of the ball. So you found our visualization solution in spite of all of our efforts, as opposed to because of. I got to think you are working really hard to find this.
Rob Collie (22:53):
And then to follow that up again, I have tried to teach multiple people over the years, how to customize the settings in power query so that it can hydrate files from their hard drive instead. If it's a technical person I'm working with, they already know what they're doing. I don't have to tell them anything. I showed you once and you were off and running. I mean, you are the lowest maintenance data refreshing I have ever seen in this process. So yeah, you're one of those hybrids. You're up to your eyeballs in football, that's your subject matter. But you're thinking about it from a what's the better way perspective. How can we address this problem better? Which is real how most of the people who work at P3 started out. They're in Excel. They're discovering ways to solve problems and they're looking around the organization going, I can't believe we still do it this way. There's got to be something better. And then they find their way into Power BI and all of that.
Rob Collie (23:46):
That's just a long soliloquy saying, I think you're exceptional and I've really enjoyed crossing paths. We've enjoyed cooperating with you. One of the things that really struck me when we were at that conference was how I won't say that all of the high school coaches that I met, I wouldn't say that all of them were like this, but a large percentage of them really talked about themselves as educators even more than they talked about themselves as coaches. Wasn't about this obsession with football so much the thing that powers a lot of people in your profession that I met there is the improvement that they see in their team, in their individual players even over the course of a year or two, that developmental aspect. Was I getting an impression there that was correct?
Coach Chase Hargis (24:32):
Absolutely. I think a lot of guys that get into this profession, it's not that they were really good at football or played football at this college or anything like that. I mean, there is a lot of that, but I think there just invested in kids. And at the end of the day, I've got a bunch of friends in the business world that make a lot of money. And I obviously don't, they don't get why I'm doing what I'm doing. But at the end of the day, I get to play around with kids all day. And you guys are sitting in offices, dealing with grownups all day that don't care about you. So these kids look up to me and care about me. And at the end of the day, I get to mess around with them and help them get better at something they like doing and teach them a little something along the way.
Rob Collie (25:08):
Basically, infinitely small percentage of the players that come through your program are going to ultimately wind up in the pros, right? They're not going to go pro in football.
Coach Chase Hargis (25:18):
Rob Collie (25:19):
I'm sure that there are examples that have, so you're not directly preparing these kids for a career, not directly, but in hindsight, neither was my calculus teacher.
Coach Chase Hargis (25:31):
Rob Collie (25:32):
But overcoming adversity, learning to build new neural pathways. People don't really appreciate this I don't think most of the time. How much information processing goes into being an effective football player. It is insane. You're having in your team study. What was it? 500 to 600 data points.
Coach Chase Hargis (25:50):
Rob Collie (25:51):
I don't care how well visualized it is. The fact that this solution we've built needs to be interactive. You need to be able to see what they do on third down. You need to be able to see specifically how often they throw to this particular player and where. This is an enormous amount of data. And then these players have to go out there and in split second real time, diagnose things. This is an information processing game as old and as creaky as I am now in my middle age, if I could go out onto a football field, not an NFL football field, I'm talking about maybe like your football field, right?
Rob Collie (26:30):
If I could process information perfectly instantaneously, even a creaky body like mine would be an amazing asset on a football field, but my brain can't do that. My body can't do it and my brain can't do it. So I'm not close to being valuable on a football field, but I just think it is a really, really incredible how much data and information processing, whether you want call it data, whether you want to call it analytics it doesn't matter. Even the most old school football mentality still involves a tremendous amount of diagnosis, well, actually both sides of the ball. It's a tremendous amount of information processing, maybe more information processing in the game of American Football than any other sport.
Coach Chase Hargis (27:12):
Rob Collie (27:13):
So you're a data instructor, man. You're an analytics decision support. You're a lot more closely related to the BI industry than when I even thought going into this.
Coach Chase Hargis (27:22):
I appreciate that, but you could call it what you want, but it's fun. I know that much. Did you see the Charles Barkley quote on analytics recently?
Rob Collie (27:30):
Charles Barkley, Charles Barkley on analytics. Here we go.
Coach Chase Hargis (27:33):
"They made it up because all these rich dudes who own these teams want to get their son-in-law a job. They are just stats, like yoga. Yoga's nothing but stretching. I tell people yoga's just stretching. They gave it a different name and now they can charge you for it."
Rob Collie (27:48):
He's acknowledging that it's important. Stretching is important while he's reserving his right to think of yoga as silly. And he's saying the same thing about analytics.
Coach Chase Hargis (28:00):
Says they're statistics, they just changed the name. We're going to charge you for analytics now, but they just raise the price. It's nothing but statistics and stats.
Rob Collie (28:09):
See, this is good. This is progress. So first of all, Barkley is an American treasure. I think he's a national treasure. So it's always pained me given how much I like the guy that he has always been so anti-analytics. Now in his evolution of his attitude towards analytics, it sounds like he's softening a little bit, right? He's gone from saying analytics is stupid, it's crap, it's useless to saying essentially we've always had it, right? It's always been valuable. Now it's just got a new name. He's very slowly trying to adjust himself to be on the side of its valuable without saying he's changed his mind. Very sneaky, sir, Charles, very sneaky, but we caught you. We see what you're doing. What I think it's really interesting is that there is no analytics and I hinted at this earlier. There's zero analytics in what we've done for CoverHawk.
Coach Chase Hargis (29:02):
Rob Collie (29:02):
It is just turning the data that you've already collected into a form that is visually digestible.
Coach Chase Hargis (29:10):
Rob Collie (29:10):
The only parts we start to tow the line of analytics is the fact that while there is a data model behind it, so you can click on the Just Show Me Third Down and the visual updates. There's a brain behind the scenes. It's able to reflect that and revisualize just that subset of the data. And there are some numerical quantities on the field or on the report that show the average or the total net or whatever for that collection of plays. As far as analytics go, this is really, really, really simple stuff, right? On the far other side of analytics would be some system that's predicting what play they're going to call next.
Coach Chase Hargis (29:48):
Rob Collie (29:49):
We're not in that ballpark at all. So I think that if Barkley were a high school football coach today, just like he likes to talk about the son-in-law of the team owner. If Barkley had a son and he was in high school right now, you'd be damn sure Barkley be coaching that football team. Barkley would like CoverHawk.
Coach Chase Hargis (30:08):
He'd love it.
Rob Collie (30:09):
The sin I'm about to describe is one that I have committed many times and I think less frequently with experience, but more frequently at the beginning. Which is getting carried away with the math, getting carried away with the technology. When a nerd gets a hold of something like this, like me, I did this 15 years ago plus, there's this arrogance or hubris that you're going to find something that the coaches didn't know. And you might, you go find something like that and then you can show it to him and the coaches is like, this isn't helpful. There's another quote. I think it's Doc Rivers when he was skewing analytics. And I think rightly so, he was saying, my analytics team comes up to me and tells me, Hey, do you know that Rajon Rondo gets 20 miles an hour in the open floor when he is on a breakaway with a dribble?
Rob Collie (30:56):
And Doc's like, get out of my office with that. And I think correctly, because it doesn't change anything that Doc Rivers is going to do, but there's this person in his office who's trying to present it like it's the coolest thing ever and is really important. It's not, it doesn't change his decisions. Doesn't change his coaching decision. Doesn't change anything about how he operates the team. And so the analytics that first came to the NBA for instance, probably were a lot of times tone deaf, but there are other things.
Rob Collie (31:26):
One of our other podcast guests, Wayne Winston and his friend Jeff Sagarin almost 20 years ago, they were helping Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks optimize their lineups and it was working. And so when you say analytics, it covers a lot of ground. It includes all the bad and inexperienced practitioners. It includes all the places where something really not so helpful was tried and maybe even trumpeted as amazing, even though it wasn't. And then of course the really, really helpful things, the ones that are truly, truly helpful. Well, teams don't typically like to talk about those secrets. Did you ever use the word analytics with your players? Would that have gotten their attention? Would that have been helpful?
Coach Chase Hargis (32:05):
No, absolutely not. Like I said, I leave the football guys be in the football guys, but I'm fortunate enough that one of my assistants, my linebackers coach does love data as much or maybe more than I do. And we like to throw the word around analytics to make us seem really smart at times.
Rob Collie (32:23):
You got to have the right audience. Don't say it when Barkley is in the room, but yeah, it's an instructional tool. We have some decisions to make don't we?
Coach Chase Hargis (32:31):
Rob Collie (32:32):
We have to talk about whether to continue to invest in CoverHawk as a potential business. I mean, it's certainly been a positive experience so far. I think for everybody involved, it's paid for itself. It's paid its bills, right? It's certainly been good for us. Building a consumer grade high school student proof Power BI embedded solution has been a really good forcing factor for us in terms of upping our Power BI embedded game. And it's also set us up in a place where we can pretty quickly clone that and do all kinds of other interesting things with it for demonstration sites and things like that. So we're going to be reusing that tech.
Coach Chase Hargis (33:16):
Rob Collie (33:18):
But whether or not to attempt to scale it and get a 100 schools using it. And it's all about adoption. In your case, you were the coach, you were in charge. So we talk about hostages and volunteers when it comes to technology, your players, hostages, they didn't have a choice. Now they could have fought it, sounds like that didn't happen, but they weren't the ones offering the Google searches. Like, come on, coach we got to have a better way to do this. That wasn't how it went down. The Southlake Caroll story is very, very, very encouraging. However weird you might happen to be, you've got another big program using this. It's just killing me that y'all aren't just right down the road. I want to be in some of these meetings, just watching the breakdowns. I want to field questions from the players. I won't know thing one about what's actually going on football wise, but I like their adoption of it.
Coach Chase Hargis (34:12):
Yeah. We'll have to do it.
Rob Collie (34:14):
And so how do we get players and coaches to adopt something that wasn't their idea that they weren't looking for?
Coach Chase Hargis (34:21):
That's where you come in as the business side. But no, I think it would be really cool to get you in front of Southlake Caroll and for me to do it too, because I bet they've used it in ways that I don't know how to use it and vice versa. I think it'd be great to hear feedback from them.
Rob Collie (34:35):
So how awesome is it that they went to the finals last year, they went to the championship game and lost. They go to the finals this year and win, what's the only difference that we can point to?
Coach Chase Hargis (34:43):
Rob Collie (34:47):
Coach Chase Hargis (34:47):
The Hawk is what we've started calling it.
Rob Collie (34:49):
Coach Chase Hargis (34:50):
The Hawk is updated is the text that goes back and forth.
Rob Collie (34:53):
Oh my God, that is so cool. The Hawk is updated. It sounds like the eagle is landed or something.
Coach Chase Hargis (34:59):
The Hawk is updated.
Rob Collie (35:03):
Frog swim in winter. The Hawk is updated. I love it. Are there any other interesting or funny stories? Things that have happened in the course of this adventure.
Coach Chase Hargis (35:15):
So Southlake plays a team in their district is my buddies the head coach and he's an offensive guy. And so Southlake sent me the spreadsheets for this school that they were playing where my buddy is the head coach at. And so when I updated the Hawk, I screen shotted it on my phone and I texted it to him and I go, Hey, if you wanted to know where you're throwing the football, the last two weeks here it is. We had talked to him at the convention me and you. He came by the booth and was interested in it, but he looked at it and he goes, wow, we're pretty right-handed aren't we? I go, yeah, you're throwing it to the right a little too much. It was interesting for us to talk about it when he had no idea that we were even doing that with his team.
Rob Collie (35:55):
It's just fascinating. I would've expected, and I'm sure that there are layers and levels at which this impression is still true, but I would've expected a level of cutthroat competition amongst all these coaches in this community. That if it's there, it's like subterranean. It's hidden. When you're coming up on a game against high school X, high school X actually provides you with a lot of film from their games and you do the same for them.
Coach Chase Hargis (36:29):
That is correct.
Rob Collie (36:31):
You provide each other with film. That's not happening above the high school level.
Coach Chase Hargis (36:36):
No, it's not. I sent it to another coach too that was the head coach of a team in their district. And I go, Hey, here's where you're throwing the ball the last three games. He goes, what is that? I go, it's that CoverHawk thing I was telling you about this summer. He goes, if it's something I have to buy to beat Southlake I'll buy it. I was like, well, I can't guarantee that, but.
Rob Collie (36:55):
Well, coach, it's been a heck of a ride from that moment that you sent the email to P3 until now we've gone to a conference together, my only conference since COVID, which is pretty cool, got a future with a lot of possibility in it with just with your typical standard run of the mill Power BI embedded football visualization called CoverHawk.
Coach Chase Hargis (37:14):
Rob Collie (37:15):
We'll be in touch behind the scenes, plotting our next move. But yeah, really appreciate you taking the time out of your day.
Coach Chase Hargis (37:21):
I appreciate it too. It was fun.
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