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Forecasting using Power BI

Two weeks before, the Garage Series folks from Microsoft decided to put Power BI to the test and see if they could combine multiple data sources and use the visualization engines in Excel and Power BI in an attempt to predict the outcome of El Clásico after hearing from fans of both clubs.  The nice thing with a scenario like this is that detailed data is easily available via sources like Wikipedia, but using Power Query in Excel they could mash up external data keying off dates and geographical locations to bring in things like temperature, humidity and even moon phases to see if any of these things had an impact on the matches between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Microsoft made use of several technologies in the latest Excel and Power BI:

  • Excel Spreadsheet to enter Data
  • Power Map

Power Map.jpg 

  • Q &  A in Power BI

Q and A in Power BI.jpg 

  • Power BI Data Visualization

Data Visualization in Power BI.jpg 

  • Timeline View

Power BI - Timeline view.jpg 

Regardless of the data being used, everything can be modelled in Excel with all of the data slicers and visuals. Then via simple drag and drop Excel file can be added into Power BI. Once the files are loaded into Power BI, it is easy to add them into the Q&A engine simply by right-clicking and adding the file into Q&A. With everything loaded into Power BI, people can view and interact with the data directly from the browser – they don't need the latest version of Office installed or a powerful computer to run it. All the compute is actually running in the Power BI service. It's pretty amazing.

Now if you're wondering how it turned out, the images above show just how close the teams and players are matched. You may have watched El Clásico a few weeks back and know who won, (Real Madrid won 3-1 against Barcelona) but it is wonderful to see how well Power BI, Excel and the disparate data did to help predict the outcomes.

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