Power BI Football Passing Chart!

Oh My Goodness Yes.  A Thousand Times Yes.
(Scroll Down for the Interactive Versions)

A Formerly Six-Figure Project Becomes “Free” While Also Becoming MUCH BETTER

In a former life (circa 2006), I got to spend several hundred thousand dollars of Microsoft’s money on a football analytics project.  It used SSIS, old-school SSAS, and Excel Services.  We hired a consultant for two months to do the SSIS and SSAS work.  I had to teach him about the game of football.  It took forever to make small amounts of progress.  We were using traditional methodologies.  And we were getting traditional results.

As if that weren’t enough cost, we also paid six figures for access to the NFL statistics – the source data.  (Which was subsequently fed through SSIS and then SSAS by the consultant).

When we ran out of money, the consultant quit helping me and I was stuck with something that felt only half-baked.  Does this sound familiar?  It should if you’ve ever been part of a traditional BI project.

Then, in early 2010, I re-built that same project in Power Pivot.  This time, *I* did all of the SSAS work, because Power Pivot is/was essentially “SSAS made accessible to the VLOOKUP and Pivot crowd.”  The contrast between the new, agile DAX methodology (domain expert directly executing rather than “radioing” garbled instructions to someone else) knocked my socks off.  That “lightning bolt moment” of observation – one in which I realized the world was about to change DRAMATICALLY – launched this, my second career, and also launched this entire company we call PowerPivotPro.

But I cheated a bit, back in 2010, and re-used the results of the SSIS work done by the consultant, AND by using the old data.  My price tag of zero was incredible, and the results were better than anything I’d had using the expensive traditional methodologies, but it all still depended on six figures of spending done in the past.

Quarterback Detailed Dashboard in Power BI

“Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?”
(Yes. Yes in fact you may.)

Today, We Have a Complete Solution in OUR Hands – No Cheats!

Well, today we have Power Query, AND we have a more vibrant Internet providing us with much more freely-available information.  Put the two together, front them with some nifty Power BI visuals, and POW… a solution that’s more legit than anything I’ve ever done.  Up to date, current data, incredibly compelling and flexible visual canvas.

Check out the Power BI charts in action:

Power BI Football Passing Chart
Power BI Football Teaser


Interested in Learning How to Do this Kind of Thing?

power query

Our New Online Power Query Course just launched this year. You’ll learn Power Query from the best in the business, two Excel MVPs Ken Puls and Miguel Escobar. We’ve included 7 Hours of Self-Paced Video over 31 Courses, with lots of example files, and a Digital Badge powered by Acclaim.

CLICK HERE to claim your spot.


Work In Progress

We’re not REMOTELY done with this, as we’re really just getting started.  Stay tuned for LOTS of improvements, as well as “how to” posts about how we did some of this.

Also, our stats are just a tad off for the moment – we’re not yet handling negative and zero-gain plays properly (back to the M lab!), but all of that will be getting sorted out quickly.

And oh yeah, we’re gonna load historical stats too Smile

Stay tuned.

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Rob Collie

One of the founding engineers behind Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, and creator of the world’s first cloud Power Pivot service, Rob is one of the foremost authorities on self-service business intelligence and next-generation spreadsheet technology. 

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Oooooooooooh. The first post I ever saw from this site was one of the Football project posts, and since that launched a serious career boost for me it holds a special place in my heart. Plus, that reporting sample is GORGEOUS. I look forward to using it as a case example when selling people on the benefits of Power BI Reporting!

  2. Yay!!!!!! So happy the Football project is back. This is what got me really interested in PowerPivot and subsequently, Power BI. Looking forward to more football awesomeness!

  3. I am SOOOO EXCITED!!! I’ve been building tools like this for many, many years with VBA and traditional pivots and even Azure DBs! Makes it so much easier to learn more about the tech when you love the subject matter!

  4. The Great Football Project has a special place in my heart – I know I read that post over and over and over again! So happy to see it revamped – and can’t wait to see what else goes into this project Well done!

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